Facebook apps can ask to grab your email address, beginning today

There's alot of changes happening over at Facebook, none of them being particularly small either. Beginning today, Facebook Applications can ask for (or demand) your email address so you can use their application, and they can send periodic updates or notifications to your email address. According to Techcrunch it's not out of the blue either, with the company announcing this last October, as well as keeping dates on the Developer Roadmap too.

The little notification window on the bottom right of the screen that you're so used to getting friendly updates from is being removed in the next 30 days, as part of the latest Facebook revamp and was the only way Facebook Applications could communicate with users to keep them interested in their application. Now, developers will not be able to rely on Facebook to "serve as the gatekeeper for their communication with users" and they will need to find alternative methods. This is not necessarily a good move for all developers.

When an application sends a message to a user using Facebook's notification box, it's pretty hard to miss - it gets that bright red little bubble, and your last few messages are shown if you click on the icon. Techcrunch goes on to point out that with Email, users may miss or forget that the application has notified them and the email will get lost in the mess (or the user will just get generally annoyed with the emails). There is a plus side though, application developers will now be able to send as many messages as they like to users via Email.(Facebooks notification system has messaging quotas) This move could be terrible news for applications that send out millions of notifications.

To get their hands on your email address, developers must prompt users through an extended permission box - not dissimilar to what you usually see for other requests. They can also request this information as part of the application installation (in other words, you may not be able to use some applications without giving out your email address. Techcrunch also points out that Facebook users who are worried about spam can elect to share a proxied Email address.

Email address, plz?

 

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38 Comments

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Facebook just can't seem to get off this slippery slope they are on. No wonder people keep complaining about the changes. Seems like a lot of unncessary work to keep the engineers employed.

And with the founder stating that its users should have no expectation of privacy it won't be long before Facebook becomes obsolete and people move on to the next big thing.

So let me get this straight, instead of notifications i will get an email (if i allow it, what happens if i don't allow it?) everytime something happens, a comment on a photo or similar?

joker999 said,
Good, i deleted my facebook account. :)

There's no such thing as "deleted" with Facebook, you'll find your FB profile & posts "moth balled", I noticed this when I returned to what I thought was a deleted account to find it simply "sleeping"

Who cares. Its an option. The day they dont have to ask for it though, then my facebook account goes out the window....kthxbai.

And it's all made totally irrelevant by free webmail accounts with junk/spam filters.

Seriously, who doesn't have at least one junk account if not 10+?

I can't, for the life of me, imagine what a "must have" app for Facebook would look like, so I guess this doesn't affect me.

They shouldn't need your email. They can send you messages through Facebook. You have the option to have Facebook email you notifications for whatever.

Honestly, the level of utility of Facebook is really dropping dramatically for me recently due to all the spam the service generates. I'm thinking of deleting my profile.

Same here. I don't like the fact that people I don't really know get my email, and can find out who I am by typing in the email in the search thing. So I have a Facebook-dedicated email address.

Well that's annoying. I only use a few apps and it would seriously suck if all of a sudden they needed my email address to allow me to carry on using them.

What they should do is allow the developer to explain what the user's email address would be used for in the confirmation box, and then there should be some kind of reporting facility if it's used for anything else that the user didn't agree to.

I don't understand why they would need to communicate with you via email anyway. The messaging facilities on Facebook are already there and there's nothing wrong with them. Why not keep it all on site?

what said,
Well that's annoying. I only use a few apps and it would seriously suck if all of a sudden they needed my email address to allow me to carry on using them.

What they should do is allow the developer to explain what the user's email address would be used for in the confirmation box, and then there should be some kind of reporting facility if it's used for anything else that the user didn't agree to.

I don't understand why they would need to communicate with you via email anyway. The messaging facilities on Facebook are already there and there's nothing wrong with them. Why not keep it all on site?


Cause it's annoying as heck having it on site lol. They're removing them from the feed too.

Edited by Owen W, Jan 20 2010, 10:45pm :

So the notification box will still be there, just won't allow non facebook apps to notify you anymore, or is the whole thing going away?

Andrew Lyle said,
I personally don't use Apps either. I block them all on my feed.. they are very annoying.

Same here, I find them to be quite irritating.

AgentGray said,
IT's an option. I don't see the problem.

It is a problem if they can demand it (as it says in the article, I don't know if that is true). I don't use apps anyway.

AgentGray said,
IT's an option. I don't see the problem.
Agreed, the option is there if you want it - there's no "demanding" as the article suggests - you seem to have complete control over it.

Edited by 84Mark, Jan 20 2010, 9:53pm : added more information

Jedimark said,
Agreed, the option is there if you want it - there's no "demanding" as the article suggests - you seem to have complete control over it.

Applications may demand it before install though, and if you say no they can potentially refuse you access to the app.

Edited by Owen W, Jan 20 2010, 9:06pm :

Jedimark said,
Agreed, the option is there if you want it - there's no "demanding" as the article suggests - you seem to have complete control over it.

People like to blow things out of proportion many times. Gets people to actually read the article in many cases, as I did rolling my sleeves up getting ready to nerdrage at Facebook...

dead.cell said,

People like to blow things out of proportion many times. Gets people to actually read the article in many cases, as I did rolling my sleeves up getting ready to nerdrage at Facebook...

It's accurate though, some apps may refuse use without an email address. Crazy, I know.

Owenw said,

Applications may demand it before install though, and if you say no they can potentially refuse you access to the app.

So, dont use the app.

Owenw said,

Applications may demand it before install though, and if you say no they can potentially refuse you access to the app.
As above don't use the app then. If developers abuse this feature then people will just use or make alternative apps.

Minimoose said,

It is a problem if they can demand it (as it says in the article, I don't know if that is true). I don't use apps anyway.

I don't use app neither. But if the developer make the email permission a requisite, this is bad news.