In a Wednesday blog post, Facebook's chief technology officer (CTO) Bret Taylor announced the roll out of a new feature that enables users to better control the extent of personal data that can be accessed by third-party applications and websites.
The activation of the new `authorization' process, which has been hailed by the users as well as privacy advocates, begins whenever users either install a new application or use their Facebook account to first log into a third-party website. The dialog box that comes up details the users' information accessible by the app or website; and necessitates the users' permission for data sharing.
The authorization screen makes a clear mention of the type of information being collected by the app or the website. Though developers have access to users' public information by default, any app tapping into private information of the users must seek their permission.
Talking about the new move, Taylor said: "With this new authorization process, an application will only be able to access the public parts of your profile by default. To access the private parts of your profile, the application has to explicitly ask for your permission."
Hailing Facebook's new authorization model, Center for Democracy and Technology's Erica Newland said that the app developers "may think twice before asking for access to information in excess of what they need to deliver their advertised product."