Designer Breaks Down How Facebook Tricks You Into Revealing Your Info

Senior Contributor
08.27.12 4 Comments

Facebook has a lot of money invested in getting you to fork over your privacy and dignity, one piece at a time. The problem is, as people become aware of how awful they are and how little they actually care about customers, they’re not doing that as much.

So how is Facebook going to get you fired and put your political opinions into your friends’ Feed without asking? Mostly by making it hard for you to figure out what you’re giving up, and hoping you’re too lazy to click buttons.

Facebook keeps “improving” their design so that more of us will add apps on Facebook without realizing we’re granting those apps (and their creators) access to our personal information. After all, this access to our information and identity is the currency Facebook is trading in and what is driving its stock up or down.

The advice to stop this can be summed up pretty simply: read the fine print. Even if it is in gray text. But I think this is really just the start.

As I’ve noted repeated, Facebook’s stock goes down more often than whatever celebrity is currently in a sex scandal right now and/or dating Kim Kardashian. And it’s going to get more and more desperate as that stock keeps dropping. And it is going to keep dropping. It’s really hard to see how Facebook is going to convince investors it gives a crap about them when, uh, it doesn’t.

My gut feeling is that sooner, rather than later, Facebook is just going to stop asking. There will be an update to the site’s terms of service that essentially says that if you agree to use an app, you give whoever owns that app your personal information. And that you won’t be able to opt out.

We give it six months or whenever the stock hits $10. Whichever comes first.

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