Facebook What Do Quizzes Know About You?

Quizzes are quite popular on Facebook. Have you ever asked yourself which information are accessible to quizzes and applications if you allow them to access your account, before taking the quiz to find out if you really know all about becoming a vampire, or which superhero your cat resembles the most.

Most Facebook users might think that those quizzes receive little access to the Facebook account, even more so if they have set their Facebook profile to private.

That however is not true at all and they may be surprised to know that giving a quiz access provides the company behind it with lots of information including your religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, pictures, and groups.

But that's not all. They also have access to information on friend's profiles as well.

The "What do quizzes know about you" quiz on Facebook has been designed to reveal the information that quizzes have access to by displaying those information to the user taking the quiz.

facebook privacy

The first question deals with the information that a script can access when users allow the script to access the profile prior to taking it. The quiz pulls information from the user's Facebook profile and display all it can gather on the page.

The second question is about the information that a quiz can retrieve from your friends even if those friends never came in contact with the quiz before.

This is again emphasized by displaying various photos and information on friends of the Facebook account on the page.

There must be safeguards somewhere, right?

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The only protection Facebook offers by default is its Terms of Service, which state that developers must collect only the information that they need, and use it only in connection with Facebook.

But all it takes to be a developer is an email address, and so few of even the top developers have a privacy policy at all, it's hard to believe that Terms of Service will hold them back if they want to collect information, and (as this quiz has shown) they can access a lot of it.

And once details about your personal life are collected by a quiz developer, who knows where they could end up or how they could be used. Shared? Sold? Turned over to the government?

Experience the privacy issue first hand by taking the What do quizzes know about you on Facebook quiz. Yes, it is ironic that you have to allow a quiz on Facebook to find out that you should not really be doing that.

Update: The quiz is no longer available but the information that quizzes and apps can pull is still significant. It is therefore suggested not to take part in any quizzes of companies or individuals that you don't trust, or know of.

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Facebook What Do Quizzes Know About You?
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Did you know that quizzes on Facebook know a lot about you and your friends?
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Facebook What Do Quizzes Know About You?

  1. HNicolai December 5, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    I think I found a item under settings where you could uncheck "Allow friends applications to access your information" or something like that, but I'm not sure whether it worked or not :S

    *edit*
    On the last "page" of the quiz there's a link to the page I talked about, I have unchecked all of the checkboxes, so I really hope that none of my personal information get shown to random applications my friends use

  2. Charlie Bell December 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    I don't do the quizzes, or applications for the reasons that you give. I am on there solely to communicate with people that I have lost contact with over the years. Now I am worried that my personal information is open to others through friends use of those things mentioned.

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