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Stop Oversharing Your Facebook Information

Facebook updated Login so you can choose which info to hand over to third party apps.


You’re probably oversharing your Facebook information, and there’s an easy way to fix that.

One year ago, the social network superpower announced changes to its login API, the technology app developers use so that users can easily create accounts on their apps using their Facebook accounts.

One of the problems with the system, at least from a user perspective, was that you often had to grant the third party app all kinds of personal data from Facebook in order to create an account. And it was an all-or-nothing exchange. Either the app got everything it wanted — birthday, friends list, profile — or you would have to create an account some other way.

Facebook announced at its F8 developer conference last year that was changing this setting — apps would need to give users a chance to opt out of specific categories. Want to share your profile, but not your birthday? No problem.


Facebook gave developers one year to prepare for this change, and that year was up on Thursday. That means that any app that offers you a chance to “Log in with Facebook” should give you sharing options, too.

When you hit “Log in with Facebook” on an app, you’ll be redirected to the login approval page. There, you’ll now see a link to “edit the info you provide,” which lets you pick and choose which elements of your profile you share.

There’s a small chance that Facebook’s changes might cause one of your apps to crash. If a developer hasn’t prepared for Facebook’s update and its app is still coded to rely on parts of your Facebook information that you now withhold, it could bug out. But this is unlikely, says Simon Cross, a Facebook product manager.

Lots of apps implemented the new login ahead of the April 30 deadline.

For those who have been using Facebook login for years, however, it’s not easy to take information back. You can go into Facebook’s settings and cut ties between Facebook and any app you’ve already granted permissions to, but this only means no more information will be shared. That developer still has any data you’ve already shared.

At that point, it’s up to you to contact the app creator to request that information be deleted. It’s outside of Facebook’s hands, says Cross.

Like we said, it’s not easy. But at least that kind of oversharing is over. Of course, oversharing with Facebook is another issue.

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