Facebook End Run Around YOUR Privacy Settings

While their PR machine claims Facebook is getting better about protecting your privacy, their new permissions prove the exact opposite. Here is a screen capture of the new Facebook request for permission:

Facebook New Permissions PRIVACY

Screen Capture of Actual Facebook Permissions

Did you read that last one?:

Access my FRIENDS’ Information
Family Members and Relationship Statuses,
Current Cities, Likes, Music, TV, Movies, Books, Quotes,
Education History, Work History, Websites,
Groups and Photos and Videos of them.

In other words, if YOU or YOUR FRIENDS choose NOT to give Facebook permission to access that information, Facebook can get YOUR information AND THEIRS from any other Facebook user you interact with who clicks allow.

Make no mistake about this. MOST Facebook users will just click allow – and that means simply this: 

Whatever you share with them on Facebook is shared publicly!

It is abundantly clear from these latest Facebook permissions and the new authorization Twitter privacy concerns that we don’t really have many choices. We either accept these permissions – knowing full well that in the future both Twitter and Facebook will be able to target our followers and friends with anything they wish – or stop using their services.

If you use Facebook your friends will – and many already have
given Facebook permission to access all your information
even if you refuse or object!

Besides what is written above, these permissions give other companies, Web sites, and individuals permission to post “status messages, notes, photos and videos” to  your wall on Facebook or “Post Tweets on Your Behalf” (the exact wording on Twitter’s news permissions) to your followers on Twitter.

Others may do this even if you never see it yourself because
they could actually make ads or anything else
visible only to your followers and not to you.

Right now if we raise these objections we will most likely be told that they only mean posting Tweets we ask for using Tweet and Retweet buttons on various sites. But the wording is ambiguous and can later be used to post anything any time.

(If you know of ANYTHING ANYWHERE that contradicts this I challenge you to link to it in my comments.)

Facebook has a long history of moving to change privacy expectations. Even though there is nothing we can really do about where all this is going, if you wish to share what you think about it please leave a comment. Links to related content are always welcome.

What we need to offset this bummer news is some comic relief from Rhett and Link:

Whenever you could use a break, watching their hilarious commercials (how they do it to be documented by film producers @jokeandbiagio) is a good way to relax. On Twitter you can follow Rhett @rhettmc and Link @linklamont. Congratulations to all of them on their new Commercial Kings television show.

The following two tabs change content below.

Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. This Facebook is getting way too much influential. .thanks

  2. I met my wife on Facebook :)

  3. If you search Facebook on Google, they show up Zuckerberg’s Google profile! That’s totally unfair !

  4. Demolition contractors says:

    I’ve been considering closing my facebook account for a while after all the recent issues with privacy. I unnerves me that these apps can practically take over your facebook from one click. I hope google plus doesnt go the same way.

  5. Well, i’m just dropping by to suggest to update this write up because Facebook already changed their privacy settings and in my opinion, it’s much more secured compared before.
    Steve would love you to read ..Vapor King Electric CigaretteMy Profile

    • Gail,
      Plz, don’t update.
      This article has date of writing on it.

      And its point is not about substituting help or support of Facebook.

      It is reminder:
      to read more attentively conditions of what one uses;
      that billions on the internet are using online services produced and gambled by 26-year old kids;
      people seem to find it OK the current status quo when agreements with them (ToS, etc.) are being changed unilaterally and retroactively.

      It is incredibly beneficial for scammers and criminals to do what they do and don’t want on the internet.
      If my private data leaked in the past I want to know about it in the present and in the fututure none-the- less.

      Changing this article retroactively is just to join the team ignoring all others and soing what is comfortable for them
      De-li(a)r-ious WebMA$Oist Conspywrightor with Multiple Nym Disorder Syndrome would love you to read ..Antispam “KeyCAPTCHA is Under Attack” Forum Spam as an Example of “Best PR is Black PR” TechniqueMy Profile

  6. privacy changes again on Oct 1.we will have to wait and see if it work well

  7. i just set my timeline and so far im liking it, the new changes

  8. Facebook is going to get themselves into trouble like this.
    The German government is already advising people to delete their fb account because of the privacy issues.
    Danny would love you to read ..Remington RM1015P 10-Inch 8 Amp Electric Pole chain SawMy Profile

  9. Hummm…the benefits are gonna weigh in with the troubleshooting around access. Pushing the envelope on privacy has made generations of Facebook available. Cushion after the fall out? More than likely. Allowances and restrictions are fundamental biological philosophies. If ya ask me, no matter how communication savvy we get…it’s still like “swapping spit.” I did agree with the other post about having the ability to block usage as a constructive clientele privilege.

  10. Google + is more secure social media than facebook. I appreciate the new secure features of Google +
    Smith would love you to read ..Steam showers | steam saunas | steam cabins | steam showerMy Profile

  11. “Too constipated”
    “Pick the one picture that you’re most physically attracted to yourself”
    Ok, so the video cracked me up.

    It’s true though, Facebook has a few security issues hidden so well that most don’t even realize they’re there. The platform fixes bugs and brings improvements every day, but it’s like they’re intentionally avoiding the most obvious ones.
    Martin would love you to read ..How to Start a Truck Driving Training School BusinessMy Profile

  12. John Knights says:

    It’s just like another way of stalking or hacking an account.. We should advice others too to be careful of the applications we allow on our page. It could be very dangerous for our and others privacy.

  13. Asbestos Training says:

    My wife made me read this and I am so happy I did. This Facebook is getting way too much influential.

  14. I’ve heard they monitor your web browser history. Is that true?

  15. Bill Dietrich says:

    After you grant all of those permissions to that external site or app, and get the operation done, you can go into Facebook and delete some or all of those permissions. But that’s a hassle. And some external apps have an “all or none” attitude toward those permissions; you can’t delete individual permissions, only deny access entirely (and give up the functionality of that app).

    I’d like to get your feedback about a page I’ve created, about the good and bad features of Facebook and how they should fix it: http://billdietrich.byethost8.com/Facebook.html Thanks.

  16. Facebook wants to sound clean but is being very tricky trying to extract information about the users from the other way round. I use both twitter and facebook and both these networking sites have their pros and cons but I should say, twitter for once became just too spammy. Of course internet is not the place for privacy but if these networking sites do not introduce some changes it may well get abandoned after some years.

  17. Most applications pretty much ask for permission for most personal details even if they don’t have to. I get a feeling that most people click on “Allow” without realizing what they are getting into.
    Aaron would love you to read ..icontact promo codeMy Profile

  18. I really didn’t notice that previously. Good for me, I don’t click “allow” all of the time. But that really makes sense. Facebook users should know this stuff for the sake of everybody’s privacy.
    Adrian would love you to read ..DIY Chicken Shed PlansMy Profile

  19. Facebook has a really sneaky way of accessing your information, as is clearly shown above. By simply ‘liking’ a group or clicking a link can force your information, and your friends information to!
    However there is a simple way to stop this. First access ‘account’ then ‘account settings’ ‘facebook adverts’ then you can choose to disable adverts by third party’s or social advertising, the second being the option which you must disable.
    Mike would love you to read ..Superglide Perch StairliftMy Profile

  20. That really confused me.. Thanks for this reminder and awareness..

  21. It’s funny that some people don’t actually read the prompt, they just click the “GRant Permission” button without knowing that they are giving away private information.

  22. the video of profile selection is very nice, you brings and add great interesting info into my knowledge
    dedicated website hosting would love you to read ..cheap designer Handbags hostingMy Profile

  23. I think user’s facebook profile is public only to your friends but you can choose your options whether you want to display your personal info or not. Even your shout outs, you can freely choose people you want to read it. I think its up to the user if he/she wants to remain private or publicly exposed her info. I think you have to know more about facebook settings.
    Grace would love you to read ..Does Big Butt Prolongs LifeMy Profile

  24. I just don’t trust facebook with my personal data nor am I interested in broadcasting everything that I do. If only I could avoid using it but at this age, you just can’t; all of your friends are on it sharing pics, updates, and stories. To reduce exposure I use an an email address that I seldom open, use private messaging more rather than post on walls, and opted out/turned off most options and apps.
    Carl would love you to read ..Child Car Seat CoversMy Profile

  25. I always review the app permission before allows it to run. You should do that if don’t want to any app that using your Facebook account without your permission.
    Tony would love you to read ..nVidia Shows Off Power Of Kal-El Quad-Core ChipMy Profile

  26. On face book when you create account, a lot of request come to you for friendships. Where is security on facebook? By the by I love the video for profile photo selection.
    Nawaz would love you to read ..Fantastic Sams Coupons PrintableMy Profile

  27. I would never trust Facebook, too many rumors and way too much information collecting…a lot like Google in my opinion.
    susan would love you to read ..abdomen workoutsMy Profile

  28. I guess if you want something bad enough you accept it. Although I bet a lot of people don’t review it before they hit that allow button. There is constantly some Facebook app in the news with privacy concerns. I’m sure there are even some that have bad intentions as their sole purpose. Honestly, I find the regular standard Facebook account privacy settings confusing enough. Now all these apps on top of that and it’s difficult to keep a handle on it all.
    Ray would love you to read ..Cloud online storageMy Profile

  29. I’m actually surprised that you’re surprised!

    We are casually handing over huge swathes of personal information on a daily basis, at what’s more, we are doing it with smiles on our faces.

  30. I definitely not a fan of facebook anymore. I really don’t like that they can post on your behalf, without me even knowing? Seems wrong in my book.
    Steene would love you to read ..Shopping for Your New Garbage DisposalMy Profile

  31. yes i really dont cinsider myself protective while surfing facebook but i rarely open or use any application or game in facebook and i feel myself secure and switched to https instead http.

  32. Vitaly Tennant says:

    Yeah this is nuts, I’ve come to accept that my information isn’t private years ago. Most importantly … Google knows everything. What raised my awareness in your post is the fact that they can post on your behalf without you actually seeing what is being posted. That’s taking it to another level.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Vitaly Tennant would love you to read ..Corporate America Destroys PassionMy Profile

    • Please keep in mind that your information will never be fully safe, but that Facebook is implementing new https security by Oct. 2011. This should help at least for awhile in keeping apps from getting their hands on anything they want etc. In my opinion it won’t be enough but its worth something at least.
      Trudy would love you to read ..buy backlinkMy Profile

  33. In business there are some business dealings that should be kept private but our emails are not secure.Now where we should go for security.

  34. Hello, Gail,
    it is a little bit off-topic but you are so popular to draw attention to the following.

    I tried to ask in various forum that Gravatar-enabled blogs collect info about commenters of blogs not registered with Gravatar but could get neither answer nor initiate any discussioin because it is topic of more generic nature when other free online services use the same techniques.

    Let me cite from comments to http://techthinker.com/gravatar-privacy-concern:
    “Gravatar-enabled blogs send my e-mail address to Gravatar whenever I comment (even if I am not a registered Gravatar user). Gravatar can then track my internet usage associated with that e-mail address across multiple sites. Gravatar does not publish a privacy policy (what they call a privacy policy on their site is not sufficient), does not let users cancel their registration, and does not tell users how Gravatar uses the personal information they collect”

    The problem is not what are current intentions, ToS and use of client data (connections, plugins, Emails, personal data, etc.).
    They always cn be changed, sold, monetized in ??? unexpected and twisted way. Cyber criminals can setup free antispam online solutions for future abusing the trust and accumulated client connections (through installed plugins) and users’ data (Emails, nicks, etc.).

    Citing http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2122697&start=135#p13002517

    “Is an entity providing online services, especially privacy and security oriented, can be identifiable and associated at all in the case of intentional or unintentional misuse or breach?

    For example, keycaptcha.com antispam services:
    operate from Russia presenting itself as US-based Mersane Ltd.

    Very convenient and rather standard setup used by cyber criminals”

    I doubt that free online services including Facebook are really interested in privacy protection. They all run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
    Their ” free of charge” really means that users data, trust and connections are monetized. And monetized in hidden from users and twisted way

    There are a lot of articles how such free services monetize us, for example:
    “Beyond Privacy: Are Facebook and Google Spying on US?”

    • Hi,

      If all they really wanted was to target ads at us I wouldn’t care. What concerns me is what they can use the profiles they’re building for and especially that they could decide to use their continual tracking to round people up and cause them to disappear. (No, I am not kidding. Do a search for “extraordinary rendition” for details and YES the U.S. government ADMITS they do this.)

      Apparently these entities no longer feel it necessary to at least APPEAR to care what we think.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why the Economy is In Decline and What We Can Do to Improve ItMy Profile

  35. Hi Nick,
    All these days everyone was saying about the privacy settings on Facebook and other social media tools. And now this would feature will surely bring privacy to an end.

  36. Good article. Sadly, what most Americans don’t realize is that true privacy of information has been over for awhile. If there’s something that is truly private (and which you want to keep that way) — the only thing you can do is NOT post it online.
    Justin would love you to read ..Supreme Court California Prison Ruling Makes Strong Case For Additional Corrections OfficersMy Profile

    • Hi Justin,

      Honestly, I’m not sure there ever was nearly as much privacy as we thought there was. Most Americans don’t realize that employers, creditors and landlords can access their personal data often including medical records.

      I’m not sure anything is private. Your snail mail is subject to “inspection”. Any medical records on you can be accessed by vast numbers of people in untold numbers of companies and agencies. Your phone calls can be monitored today without a warrant. Portable and cell phone conversations can be intercepted. Your email is probably being saved on servers and can be read by those who know how.

      You can’t even know there isn’t a camera or listening device in the so-called privacy of your own home. Few realize that your camera and microphone on your PC can be activated remotely. (Mine can’t – I choose not to have them.)

      I wonder how many even know that their cell phone can be tracked and the microphone turned on at will even when your phone is turned off (unless the battery is unplugged). It might even be possible for the same battery that keeps your data when you unplug your regular battery couldn’t make your phone a listening device even with the battery uplugged. Who knows?

      I find it ironic that people are paying for the privilege of being monitored and tracked everywhere they go – and some even volunteer to “check in”. Cue Twilight Zone music.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why the Economy is In Decline and What We Can Do to Improve ItMy Profile

  37. Hi Gail,

    Facebook is all about opt out. You are never asked for your permission to opt in. Anyone can add you to any groups, tag you, do all sorts of nifty and bad stuff with your profile. All you get is email notifications. And then, you realize that you are being added to a group where you don’t belong to. So you opt out.

    Unless Facebooks starts asking for your permission before rather than “allowing” to you leave after, there are always security threats.

    We have no choice with this except stopping to use the service altogether :(

    Jane would love you to read ..How To Get Your Blog A Sexy Alexa RankMy Profile

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes, that is true – but how do you plan to “opt out” of having anyone you’re connected to agreeing to share whatever they can access? I agree we don’t really have any good choices. We could connect with no one (that would be pointless), or try to educate everyone we connect with (which would be like herding cats), or we can just forget about it.

      Honestly, it probably doesn’t matter what we do because I don’t believe they delete anything or really let us opt out of anything anyway. All opting out probably does it put red flags on us as people who have a clue.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why the Economy is In Decline and What We Can Do to Improve ItMy Profile

  38. Dennis Edell says:

    I still don’t grt it an probsbly never will.

    Yes like you said, all experienced (those with more then 10mins online) know there is no privacy, so what is the outcry?? What government secrets are we passing back and forth on social networks?
    Dennis Edell would love you to read ..Comment Avatars- Branding and Recognition Face OptionalMy Profile

    • Really, Dennis? If you say NO to sharing your personal data you don’t have any problem with any of your connections – being totally unaware of the ramifications – say yes for you? That is clearly unethical.

      How can I even give them permission to have YOUR data? That is ridiculous. That is like me giving a bank permission to check your credit history so I can buy a car in your name instead of mine.

      Worse is the probability that once companies have access to our accounts they can just start tweeting and spamming our followers with whatever they want. Is that ok by you?

      THAT is what that vague wording could mean – and if they only let your followers and not YOU see it you won’t even know until someone complains (unless you have multiple accounts and are paying attention).

      This is truly out of control – not that there is much any of us can do about it.
      growmap would love you to read ..10 Sure-Fire Blog Traffic Magnets That Make NO Money But You Still Want ThemMy Profile

  39. Hi Gail, thanks for raising the level of awareness about this. I admit that most of the time if I want to use an App, I don’t read everything I agree to, so this is an eye opener for me. This is why targeted advertising on Facebook is such a hot topic.
    Ileane would love you to read ..5 Link Building Goofs You Must AvoidMy Profile

    • Hi Ileane,

      I always read them, but what choice do we really have? You either accept whatever or stop using their service altogether. The handwriting is definitely on the wall on this one.

      Yesterday I commented on this in Jay Baer’s excellent blog Convince and Convert on Surprising Social Media Facts. Part of my comment there:

      “It is totally unethical for Facebook to ask ME to give them permission to access SOMEONE ELSE’s data the someone else may not want them to access. And most Facebook users will just blindly accept that – which means there IS NO PRIVACY ON FACEBOOK. This is just wrong.

      The way they are written, both Twitter’s and Facebook’s new permissions give those services the ability to put whatever they want into your streams without you being asked or aware of what they’re sending out to your followers and friends.”
      growmap would love you to read ..Facebook End Run Around YOUR Privacy SettingsMy Profile

  40. This is just scary.

    If you want privacy sadly you can’t have a personal facebook account. I suggest you only have a fan page that way you can still interact with people without giving away all your personal information.
    Nick would love you to read ..Increase Web Traffic By Leveraging Old ContentMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge