Is Facebook tricking you into giving away too much information?
11 September, 2012 | Web design
It’s kind of obvious Facebook has a lot of personal information about its members. You can’t be surprised after you upload your day to day life, history and just about everything else to share amongst your Facebook friends but is Facebook getting you to give up more than you are willing to give?
Facebook will always technically ask your permission to do certain things but with Facebook constantly changing its design, it can become difficult to see what you are doing especially when reading articles or playing games.
Facebook will always ask for personal information when you are using the App Center (where Facebook apps and android apps that plug into Facebook live) but how they frame the questions can make you overlook certain conditions.
How Facebook can trick you into giving away personal information?
As we all know, how you ask a question can change the way people answer. Framing effects were first theorised in the early 1980’s, and have influenced everything from political polls to modern advertisements and has the same effect on web design.
Facebook's designers make strategic rhetorical and visual choices with words, colours, spacing, and placement. All this is put in place to influence the user’s decisions in Facebooks favour.
This is how permission requests look in the App store.
The page seems simple enough with “Play Game” button clearly displayed for those eager to play the game but what you may not have noticed is the subtle light grey font that says “The app may post on your behalf”.
The app above is for Glassdoor, a job review and connections site. It may seem harmless with the only option being to visit their website but the vast amount of information and control you give to this app from one simple click is quite scary.
Not only will your basic information and history be passed onto Glassdoor but it says that they can also access information from anyone who is friends with you on Facebook and not just their basic information but job history and locations.
Facebook have said the App Center is designed to give people more information about the apps but the clever colouring and small font will normally make the users eyes glaze over the content, tricking them into clicking through to the website.
Are you comfortable with Facebook giving away this much information about you?
By Luke Stanley