By Manish Singh
At its developer conference F8, the social juggernaut Facebook unveiled “anonymous login”, a feature which as the company explains, will allow users to share the least amount of information while login and interacting with any 3rd-party application. This feature will benefit both the consumers and developers, however, the latter is required to do a lot of work.
You’ll still be interacting with the 3rd-party applications, and sharing your personal information, however, this time around, you can see and decide what information of your the app is getting the access to, and Facebook will check if the permissions are genuinely necessary and legit.
So how does this affect you?
On many services, or simply take an example of a website, in order to access or comment on an article, you are required to log-in with your Facebook account. This helps the website avoid spam users and anonymous commenters. When you’re log-in with your Facebook account, you’re essentially sharing your name, profile photo, birthday, email address and other information with the website. This “anonymous login” will help you restrict the amount of information you’re sharing, and will provide transparency to keep a track on what things you’re actually sharing.
To make this happen, Facebook is making some changes to how login works. It will be introducing an extra layer dubbed login review, for checking what data is being shared. For this, app developers will have to make some backend changes.
How does it affect Developers?
As you would expect, this is rather a lengthy process, hence, Facebook is giving developers 12 months to restructure their applications. Though, the new login-review process will be immediately adopted for new apps.
This will, however, in one way help the developers attract more users as well. Getting the risk of invading users’ privacy out of the system, the skeptical users who were afraid of sharing their information can now jump on board as well.
Facebook doing the right thing
Facebook much like any other technology giant – Google, Amazon, Twitter you name it, analyzes and sells your data to the advertisers. Ever since its beginning it has treated its users as commodities, however this is the first time it has taken such a dramatic step to safeguard and protect users’ data.
There’s a great saying about marketing, “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”. Facebook, for once is treating its users like customers, and that is a great thing.
But letting users access any 3rd-party application without sharing their information can also lead to abusive behaviors. Facebook is aware of it, and has stated that it can and will link the dots to reveal the identity if a law enforcement demands for it.
Here’s a quick look at the highlights of F8