Facebook has quietly implemented changes that make it easier for developers of applications to gain access to user addresses and mobile phone numbers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The changes are likely to reinvigorate long-running criticism of the social media site over privacy issues, even though the new policy lets users sign off on whether to allow access, using the standard permissions dialog box.
Under the policy, address and phone information listed in users’ profiles will be given to developers who request the info using the “request for permission” procedure that is part of the process a user goes through to add an app.
“Users have the ability to not share their numbers and addresses with an app, as long as they choose ‘don’t allow’ when an app dialog box pops up. But usually, if a user doesn’t allow an app access to his or her information, he or she won’t be able to use the app,” the Times reports.
The dialog box looks similar to the basic permissions dialog box that has been used in the past. “The difference is simply that a couple lines of text have been added: ‘Access my contact information’ and ‘Current address and mobile phone number’ below it,” the story says.