Dark Side of Facebook Connect

5 12 2008


// Yeah, Facebook has just released Facebook Connect, the next evolution of facebook platform. But what is Facebook Connect? Facebook Connect is a new service that allows users to login other websites like CitySearch, CNN The Forum, TechCrunch and much more by using their Facebook ID’s and users can even share their activities from these third-party sites with their Facebook friends. 

Google have a similar service named Friend Connect, launched earlier. Friend Connect does the same thing as Facebook Connect, but only for users of social networks Orkut and Plaxo.

The Dark Side

I am a bit afraid of using this service. Why? The act of leaving a comment here and there (blogs and other websites) is telling the “Facebook  brain” which topics you like. In other words, you just told the system a little bit about yourself. Now imagine with Facebook Connect, such information coming from dozens of Facebook Connect partners websites.

Each service adds a few more data about you inside the “Facebook brain” and Facebook will know all activities inside the Facebook ecosystem. Facebook can use all these information to build a fairly accurate image of who you are, what you like and what might interest you. These informations can be used to target yourself with specific advertisements based on your interests. Just hope that Facebook will respect our privacy. Anyway, I like Facebook a lot.

Forget about these scary things now, I will just give an overview of how it works:


1. Look for the icon below on any Facebook Connect partners websites:

2. Sign in using your Facebook user ID and password.

During login the user can authenticate and connect their account in a trusted environment. The user will have total control of the permissions granted.


3. After login, you can engage in your activities at the third party website. For example add comments, post reviews and among others.

4. Dynamic Privacy, users can control who can see what pieces of their information – the same rules that they set on Facebook can be applied through all your Facebook Connect partners websites using  Facebook dynamic privacy controls.

5. With Facebook Connect, users can bring their real identity information with them wherever they go on the Web, including: basic profile information, profile picture, name, friends, photos, events, groups, and more.

6. Finally share all your activites,  actions and information with your friends on Facebook.


What is Facebook ?

Facebook is a social networking website launched on February 4, 2004. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profile to notify friends about themselves. 

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook while he was a student at Harvard University. Website membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Ivy League. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. The website currently has more than 120 million active users worldwide.

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17 responses

5 12 2008

Hi there.
I didn’t read all of TFA but I’d like to mention that it is up to the individual to act smart and divulge information online which may not compromise him. Reading the online agreement is a must.
There is no dark side – only dumb people.
There’s a bright side – university networks rely on social networking – linking features such as events to the e-mail notification system of blackboard. I use FB more often to communicate to my mates online than the blackboard discussion board and rooms.

5 12 2008

I fear that the whole facebook is collecting information about everyone, but its not only facebook, even google does this through its normal web search.
For those who are not aware, there is something called web history at the top right corner of ur google page. All of your searched terms are collected, just imagine!

If someday, google wants to know who searched for “yashvin” for instance, it wont be much difficult:
Select * from web_history where term = “%yashvin%”
or something like that lol

Nice post…

7 12 2008
Host Intruder

@Yashvin: Thanks, yeah you are right, Google already knows more about us than the “National Security Agency” ever will.

Google records everything they can (for all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration) and don’t assume for a minute it can keep a secret.

According to me, Google is a privacy time bomb, just have to wait for a Google privacy disaster to happen. Google, Orkut, YouTube … fans beware(lol). Anyway, I am still a big fan of Google :D.

7 12 2008

“Anyway, I am still a big fan of Google :D.”

So, you do admit that you’re dumb. 😛 LOL

7 12 2008
Host Intruder

@ Shah: I did not admit anything. I just said that I am a fan of Google(I like and use most of Google products), that’s all. Anyway, I know that I am not dumb, say whatever you want, you are just losing your time. By the way, thanks for your visit.

7 12 2008

You’re welcome.

“Anyway, I know that I am not dumb, say whatever you want, you are just losing your time”

I’ll write the following because I want to, despite the lost in time LOL.

Richard Stallman of The Free Software Foundation stated in an interview that “Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.

If you’re a FAN of say Google or any ‘cloud-excited’ company out there, you’re dumb and an ass.

7 12 2008

What are your views on Google Friend Connect? Your blog seems to be nicely setup. Nice to hear a pal from UTM.

7 12 2008
Host Intruder

@ Shah: If you think so, I can’t do nothing. I don’t understand what you are trying to point out ? What’s your problem if I’m a fan of Google or not?

You know what, you think you are too intelligent but its you who are dumb and you don’t even know it!! That’s what I call a true idiot. You one of those peoples with a ton of opinions but no real knowledge.

7 12 2008
Host Intruder

@ Ashesh: Thanks for your visit and comment. Google Friend Connect was originally conceived to be more like Facebook Connect, in terms of plugging social network friend relationships and interactions with other sites across the web.

Friend Connect lets you sign in using your Google, AOL, OpenID or Yahoo identity. For the time being, you can only access information about your friends in Google Talk, Orkut and Plaxo. Google will surely try to integrate Friend Connect in more websites which use the OpenSocial social network application standard.

These “connect” products makes it simple for users to instantly interact with websites they like to visit. Additionally, websites that use Friend Connect become OpenSocial containers, capable of running applications created by the OpenSocial developer community. These products will encourage more user interaction across the web.

8 12 2008

“I don’t understand what you are trying to point out ?”

Exactly my point.

8 12 2008
Host Intruder

You are clearly showing a lack of intelligence with your personal attacks. Anyway, you are free to say whatever you like.

9 12 2008
Facebook Connect:a boon or bane? « :: Ashesh Ramjeeawon ::

[…] interesting post on What is Facebook Connect and the Dark side of it can be found in this post from a UTM […]

31 03 2009
Rhyl France Visitacion


12 11 2009
Don - I like Blogging and the flying kites

Advertising is a necessary practice; I don’t understand why people have such an aversion to it … you’re not being forced to buy anything. That said, you should be excited networks, such as FB and Google, are taking the time to hone ads to your interests … think of it like Digg or Reddit or any social bookmarking site; ads are a way to inform you of things that might inters you. Enough of the childish aversions to advertising … it’s how networks make money so you can continue enjoying their service. As a computer-science student, you should understand why these “scary” practices exist.

Would you rather see an ad or pay a membership fee? (cue the arrogant reader’s predictable response: “I’d be happy to pay a fee so long as I didn’t have to suffer the sight of ads”)

Yeah, FB connect and Google Friend Connect (completely different by the way ) are really scary … they know that you’re interested in movies and video games … and they might just … place an ad somewhere on the page you’re visiting! Yikes! Even scarier, you might actually be interested in what the ad is featuring!

Innovation is all around us today – we need to evolve from the immature aversion to ads (which probably developed due to the way advertisers used to unroll their campaign … much like an email blast … much like spam). The truth is, ads are becoming more relevant to individual web users.

@Host Intruder – You’re blogging; learn to ignore insulting trolls – DFTT. Arguing in the comments section is unbecoming.

Now, this is something we should think about … if this is what Google makes available to the public to see, imagine what the governments and agencies around the world can see.


18 11 2009
Host Intruder

@ Don > Thanks for your visit dude. Got your point and I completely agree with you. 😉

2 01 2010

Isn’t it rather irritating for users to have stuff from external websites posted up in their newsfeeds. I mean not everyone likes to make everything they do go public on facebook. And with the number of Logins these days, i’m sure anyone can just about use any other login like Twitter or OpenID to sign in.Is there any provision for a user to not have stuff published to his wall when he uses his facebook connect account?

21 04 2010

Dear host intruder,

I have been researching into the Facebook and Google connect features and find them to be a severe invasion of privacy, but because I have already willingly allowed it to happen, all I can do is be aware of it. I believe that there is more to it all than just advertising, too; we are plugging our selves into a system of global connectivity that, in turn, defines and classifies every aspect of our lives. It’s all part of the change and growth that is inevitable, should societal trends stay their course. I think we’re turning into a superficial, bankrupt, enslaved society and it’s happening right before our eyes. I don’t feel that I’m the least bit irrational, either. What do you think? Are you as scared as I am that this will all come back to bite us in the virtual ass?

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