Downloading Facebook ''apps'' gives away your private info to business firms

Downloading Facebook ''apps'' gives away your private info to business firmsWashington, April 9 : Consumers are now giving business companies the right to harvest vast swathes of private information, by downloading various ''apps'' on social networking sites such as Facebook. While downloading apps, users are supplying its developers with one of the most coveted commodities in today''s economy- personal data.

A Wall Street Journal examination of 100 of the most popular Facebook apps revealed that some seek the email addresses, current location and sexual preference, among other details, not only of app users but also of their Facebook friends. It found that one Yahoo service powered by Facebook requests access to a person''s religious and political leanings as a condition for using it.

It also found that the popular Skype service for making online phone calls seeks the Facebook photos and birthdays of its users and their friends, the telegraph. com. au reports. Facebook provides a free service that users pay for, in effect, by providing details about their lives, friendships, interests and activities.

Facebook, in turn, uses that trove of information to attract advertisers, app makers and other business opportunities, the report said. According to the report, this appetite for personal data has reflected a fundamental truth about the Internet economy as a whole.(ANI)