FB-Secure, Configure Facebook Application Rights During App Installation

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 12, 2010
Updated • May 22, 2018
Apps, Facebook
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Facebook applications can request rights to access user information during installation. While all will request basic information, some require additional access rights for their functionality. Others however may request additional rights even if they are needed for the functionality of the app. A basic example: A Facebook application that displays a horoscope needs to have access to the user's birthday but not necessarily to a user's email address or friend's list.

Update: Facebook Secure is no longer available and a comparable add-on is not available either. You may want to check out Facebook Container to keep Facebook tracking in check.

It is not possible to block access rights during application installation, it is either allow access to all requested information or the application cannot be installed. That's problematic, considering that applications can request more rights than they need for their functionality.

It is possible to edit the access rights of applications after installation in the application settings. But that's not really practical.

FB-Secure

facebook application rights

FB-Secure for the Firefox web browser offers the perfect alternative. The Firefox add-on recognizes application installs on Facebook, and offers to allow or block all requested rights individually.

It is basically the same setting that is available after application installation under application settings. The difference however is night and day.

With FB-Secure it becomes possible to block access to information during installation which essentially means that the application will never be able to access the information. In the default way, the application has access to the information until the user blocks the access rights in the application settings.

Take a look at the demonstration video below.

FB-Secure displays recommendations next to each requested security permission to aid the user in the decision making process. Why is that helpful? Because some applications need access to some information to function correctly. The horoscope application for instance needs access to a user's birthday to display a personal horoscope. Without information about the birthday it's simply not possible.

If you block security permissions that are needed by an application, you can still go to application settings to correct the issue by allowing the app access.

FB-Secure improves the privacy of Facebook users who install applications on the popular social networking site. It may overwhelm some users on the other hand, as it can be difficulty at first to find the optimal application permission settings.

Facebook Secure has been created at the the Laboratory of Information Integration, Security & Privacy at UNC-Charlotte. It can be downloaded directly from the laboratories pages.

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Comments

  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm
    Reply

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm
    Reply

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am
      Reply

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am
    Reply

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm
    Reply

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm
    Reply

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm
      Reply

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm
    Reply

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm
    Reply

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm
    Reply

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm
    Reply

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm
      Reply

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am
    Reply

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm
    Reply

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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