In order to provide you with useful social experiences off of Facebook, we occasionally need to provide General Information about you to pre-approved third party websites and applications that use Platform at the time you visit them (if you are still logged in to Facebook). Similarly, when one of your friends visits a pre-approved website or application, it will receive General Information about you so you and your friend can be connected on that website as well (if you also have an account with that website). In these cases we require these websites and applications to go through an approval process, and to enter into separate agreements designed to protect your privacy.
What Does This Mean?
How It Would Work
If you log into Facebook and subsequently opened another window to one of its partner sites, that other site would know you as a Facebook member and would present you with relevant information from your Facebook social network.
For example, if you were logged into Facebook and then accessed a music site to listen to a song, the music site would be able to tell you which of your friends also like that song and vice versa. Once again, this level of sharing would be offered on an “opt-out” basis which means your data will be shared unless you take the time to tell them not to.
Letting the People Have Their Say
It should be noted that these changes are currently in the proposed stage. Facebook gave users until 12 a.m. (Pacific time) on Friday, March 2nd to voice their opinions on the proposal. As a proponent of internet privacy, I opposed the changes. Like other critics, I would like to see third party information sharing offered as an “opt-in” rather than an “opt-out” option. But even though the official deadline to respond has passed, it’s not too late to let Facebook executives know how you feel. If you’d like your “private” profile information to remain so, write the powers-that-be and let them know your opinion.