UPDATE: In a statement to Global News, president of Vonvon’s North American operations David Hahn said the company does not store any private user information, including user’s email addresses, contact lists, or Timeline data.
Hahn maintained that the company does not sell user data to third party companies, stating that because they don’t store user data they “do not have anything to offer a third party.”
You may have noticed a number of your Facebook friends sharing pictures of a word cloud made up of their most used words.
With over 17 million shares, it’s the latest Facebook quiz to go viral – but privacy experts are crying foul on the company behind the quiz, accusing it of taking big amounts of user data.
At first glance, the company does appear to access a big chunk of your private Facebook data.
In other words, by clicking “Log in with Facebook” you are acknowledging that some of your information could be used even after you delete your account.
“Don’t worry. We use the information received from Facebook to generate your quiz/game results, and we never store it for other purposes.
For example, in the case of the popular Word Cloud, the results image is generated in the user’s Web browser, and the information gathered from the user’s timeline to create personalized results are not even sent to our servers,” read the statement posted to the company’s website.
The company said it also “significantly reduced” the amount of content its apps access when participating in its quizzes.
In a statement to Engadget, Vonvon CEO Jonghwa Kim also stated that the company does not sell user information to third-party companies.
So what’s the controversy about these Facebook quizzes?
It’s important to note that these apps are not run by Facebook – they are third party apps that include their own privacy policies. By selecting “Log in with Facebook” when using these apps, you are authorizing the company to use your Facebook data.
If you have ever participated in one of these quizzes – or used your Facebook account to log into any other third-party app, like Airbnb for example – you would have noticed a pop-up telling you what information that app will access.
In some instances, Facebook lets you edit the information you provide to these apps.
Some users may not realize that these apps have their own privacy policies that contain a lot of fine print about what they are allowed to do with your information.
- What type of information the site collects: Other than what is needed to create an account on the website or app, what other personal information does it collect? For apps, consider how that information relates to the app’s function. For example, a kid’s car racing game shouldn’t need to collect location data from a smartphone.
- How the information is used: Many social networks will specify if they use personal information to create personalized content like ads. For example, Facebook’s policy reads, “You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us.”
- How long your data is stored for: What happens to your data if you delete your account? For example, according to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, if your photos or videos were shared by others, they will remain on Facebook after you deactivate your account.