Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal data of 87 million Facebook users was shared inappropriately, details surrounding the social media company's questionable privacy policies have been gaining attention. One such policy was the way Facebook dealt with third-party apps.
If you ever connected to an app with your Facebook login, that app was given indefinite access to your information, even if you only opened it once a decade ago. Now, Facebook is changing that. As Tech Crunch reports, apps that haven't been opened in three months will no longer be able to access your information.
If you log in to a new app through Facebook, whether it's a game, a quiz, dating site, or something else, you're giving it permission to see your private data when you agree to continue. It's something many people do without ever thinking about it again, but selecting that option can have long-term consequences. According to their new announcement, Facebook will now do some of the housekeeping work of blocking old apps for you. After 90 days, access tokens for users who have not logged into an app or given the app permission to see their information will expire.
Addressing developers, Facebook said, "this means that every 90 days you [the app] must send a person through the Facebook Login process, and the person must agree to specific data permissions by tapping the 'continue” button,'" the announcement reads. "We believe this immediate access update helps build trust and leads to stronger connections within our ecosystem."
For people with a more relaxed attitude toward how Facebook is using their data, the new update may be enough: Just grant permission to the app you want to use, play with it until you get bored, and after 90 days of no activity, reassess whether the app is really something that still needs your information. Other users may think that giving an app permissions for 90 days is still too long, or they may have trouble trusting Facebook to stick to this policy given its recent controversies. Fortunately, there is a way to see which third-party apps you've joined through Facebook and delete them for good.
[h/t Tech Crunch]