Today, Facebook announced positive steps to ensure that platform applications will begin adhering to a new standard of transparency: before users connect to an application, they will interact with a dialog box that details exactly what pieces of personal information the user will have to share in order to use the app.
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In the past, Facebook users who wanted to connect with an application were presented with a dialog box that indicated the application may "pull your profile information, photos, your friends' info, and other content that it requires to work." Users did not have the tools to differentiate those applications that pulled only the information they needed to work from those that more liberally requested user data. But once Facebook fully implements the announced changes, users who install new applications will be told exactly what information these applications are requesting, whether it is their political interests and work history, friends’ photo albums and current city, or all of the above. By giving users granular and easy-to-understand notice of an application’s data collection practices, Facebook will be empowering them to make more informed decisions around sharing their data.