New developer permissions roll out on Facebook

Facebook announced Wednesday that it's beginning to institute a new interface that will pop up when users connect their Facebook accounts to third-party services--one which the social-networking company says will bring more "transparency" (yes, that word again) to how much information its nearly 500 million users are sharing across the Web.

Consequently, when a third-party application that connects to Facebook asks a user for permission to do so, it has to stipulate exactly what parts of a user profile it'll be accessing: photos, friend list data, basic public information, and so forth. This is something that the company initially announced last year following criticism on behalf of privacy officials in Canada and expanded upon at its F8 developer conference this spring in San Francisco.

"In order for these applications and websites to provide social and customized experiences, they need to know a little bit about you," a post on the Facebook blog by chief technology officer Bret Taylor read. "We understand, however, that it's important you also have control over what you're sharing. With this new authorization process, when you log into an application with your Facebook account, the application will only be able to access the public parts of your profile by default. To access the private parts of your profile, the application has to explicitly ask for your permission."

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