Today at f8, Facebook announced a new version of “Facebook Login,” the system that allows Facebook users to log into third-party apps and sites with their Facebook account. The new Facebook Login has a number of new and improved privacy controls, which will be very helpful for users seeking to control the information that gets shared with these third-party apps.
First, the new Facebook Login offers Line-by-Line control, allowing users to pick and choose what information apps will be able to get from their Facebook profile. For example, if a user wants to share their email address with an app, but not their birthday, they can make that choice before using the app. The new Facebook Login will also prevent apps from posting to Facebook without permission.
Second, the new Facebook has a new feature called “Anonymous Login.” This feature does what its name suggests: it provides an easy way for people to log into an app without sharing any of their personal information from Facebook. Users can still log into third party apps using their Facebook credentials (obviating the need to remember additional usernames and passwords), but no personal information from their Facebook profile will be shared. People can decide later if they want to share any additional information, once they understand more about the app.
Third, Facebook is now providing users with a centralized App Control Panel. This dashboard will let users see a list of all the apps they use, manage specific permissions for each app, or remove apps entirely. The control panel as well as all the above features will be available on both desktop and mobile platforms.
“Facebook’s improvements to its Login system are a great addition that will give users even more control of how their information is shared with third parties,” said FPF Executive Director and Co-Chair Jules Polonetsky. “Studies have shown that some users have avoided using social log-ins because they weren’t sure what data would be shared. Facebook’s new changes should make users more comfortable using social logins.”