Facebook users know the “Most Used Words” app as a cute cloud of words and names that displays most frequent words and phrases they use in their posts. But a group of experts claim that the tremendously popular Facebook app may pose privacy risk.
Consumer privacy advocates learned that the graphically appealing app grabs a huge amount of private date about users for nearly nothing in return. Experts learned that the app knows almost everything about you including your name, street address, names of children, partner, age, sex, graduation date, other publicly available info, and even your IP address and internet browser you use.
It also sifts through everything you ever posted on the social media site, your photos and the photos of you tagged by your friends, and everything you ever ‘liked.’ Vonvon, the company that owns the app, said in a recent interview that it doesn’t store any user data. The data grabbed by the app is stored on Facebook servers and Vonvon does not have access to it.
The only piece of info the company does have access to is the users’ Facebook ID numbers. Jeremy Gillula, privacy expert for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explained that Vonvon’s claims may be true, but not 100 percent unless ‘every line of the code’ is checked.
Gillula explained that those types of apps involve some privacy risk, so users should ask themselves twice whether it is worth the risk. In Gillula’s opinion, it is never worth the risk.
Therefore, they cannot be held accountable because they already told you that they are going to hand over that data and you agreed to it by using their app. The site also says that it has the right to use “any non-personally-identifying” data long after you are no longer a member of the site.
That being said, users are recommended to take some minor steps to make apps like Vonvon’s less intrusive. Experts recommend changing name, using a nickname, having multiple accounts, and refrain from geotagging photos. Although using a nickname may violate the site’s terms of service tens of millions of accounts already do it. But the best piece of advice is not having an account at all.
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