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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