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back to article Facebook application hawks your personal opinions for cash

A popular Facebook application that promises users privacy in exchange for opinions on their friends is acting as a stooly by offering the information for others to buy. The "Compare People" (account required) application has become one of the most used services on the Facebook platform since it opened to outside developers in …

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'Collywobbles'

Ha ha! Nice one Centurion.

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Response from the Developer

Hi Chris,

I'm the developer of the app. I'm sorry that I didn't reply to your message earlier. I missed it in the huge flood of emails that I get daily.

I appreciate your post, but I don't believe that it's fair. I've gone very far out of my way to protect the users' anonymity and if you were to sign up for the premium feature, you would see that.

We DO NOT violate anonymity and we DO NOT reveal who voted on you how, even in the premium section. The premium feature is based off an internal algorithm which combines non-anonymous (the ok to notify winner rating data) as well as your own votes and presents it back to you in an aggregated fashion to make suggestions. At no time does it tell you who voted on you in which way. The suggestions are just that - suggestions with no numbers or data or votes next to them. There is a wins and losses feature that shows who you won against and who you lost against, but it goes to great pains to NOT show you who did the voting.

I hope this addresses the anonymity issues. If you have any other questions please feel free to email me.

Best,

Ivko

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Bronze badge

In the age of celebrity,

there are so many nobody's who want to be somebody, to be famous, to be recognised or to just plain show off. Well they deserve all they get. An over inflated ego or an ill founded sense of self importance is no substitute for common sense. And if one has not the decency to tell a person what they think about them to their face, perhaps they should keep their mouths shut and keys silent.

What is it with some people that they feel a need to share personal information with any entity that will listen?

btw the sun is shining :)

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Response from the Developer

Just to be safe, I've disabled new signups until we can figure out how to address / explain this issue. As I said before, no anonymity is being violated, but better safe than sorry. Thank you.

Ivko

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Anonymous Coward

Heh, I didnt see that...

Odd as this may sound, I either didn't notice or failed to read the privacy disclaimer that said my votes wouldnt be seen by the people I was voting on .. I just assumed that they would be able to see it all, and so for those questions I didnt want to make one person feel bad about the choice I might make I clicked 'skip'.

The moral of this story is ... if you dont want the world to know what you think then keep your chuffin mouth shut (even if you think the person you are talking to can be 'trusted') .. dunno 'bout you, but I figured this one out aged 7 1/2 ;)

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If this was true

"Who are your true friends?: see who has the best opinion of you

Who are your best references?: see who has the highest professional and academic opinion of you

Your wins and losses: a question-by-question recounting of exactly who you won and lost to "

The developer responses seem to contradict the above mentioned comments. I would have to say if those terms are actually in the offer, then something is fishy, because it sounds like it will tell you who all the information you say would not be given out. So either the advertisement needs to be reworded or something.

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This is an application issue not a facebook one.

People need to be educated on this. It is unfortunate that people seem to pay as much attention to the warnings on the add application pages as they do to other software licenses.

Personally I'm slightly sceptical about whether its a good idea to let facebook itself have all that data about me, however I don't feel a great need to be secretive about myself and if for an example an employer wouldn't want to employ me based on my personal activities such as they are, I would not want to work for them anyway.

The extensibility of facebook is a great feature. As far as other user's access to your data goes there are some quite fine grained permissions. I doubt if many non-techys go near them. It'd be nice to have finer grained permissions for application access, but this won't be effective without further interface improvement and education.

People should only add applications that add real value and as things stand it seems foolish to add a purely frivolous application.

Perhaps there should be some non-technical points on the add application page. People should be encouraged to question "What information am I providing to whom?"

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Silver badge

@I hope this addresses the anonymity issues

It might from your point of view, but given that your company sells private details to unknown third parties without my consent, you're still compromising my private information. If you feel good working for a company that does that, well it's your problem, not mine.

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Silver badge

Only serious add-ons please

"People should only add applications that add real value and as things stand it seems foolish to add a purely frivolous application."

So Facebook per se and other applications of that ilk are not frivolous?

Given the propensity of the modern generation to rever stupidity I would assume that, in this case at least, being the loser would be something to aspire to. However, being head paladin of a bunch of retarded morons is no great cause for celebration.

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Law

yup..... very true

I removed this app a few days ago, it was when I noticed that I got updates on how people voted about me on things like "Leanne voted you sexier than somebody else in her network" etc. So I went to see why, when I looked at the voting page it says "anonomous" at the top with the voting images and question, but then I noticed after scrolling down it had a checkbox right at the bottom of the page with much smaller writing, and is checked by default EVERY TIME you open the app saying "It is OK to inform this person how I voted"..... well, it's not anonomous then is it?!

The big reason I removed it is because it isn't upfront with what its intentions and how it uses the votes, my wife found out a couple of our close friends liked me (alot)... obviously they didn't realise that adding a comment also added their profile name too (another check box saying "anon"), because they put "snap him up if he wasnt taken.... might anyway" etc etc.... so yeah, thanks to this app it might just have cost me a pretty close friend.... great! lol Ah well.... judging from the comments she's a bit of a stalker anyway! eeek

To the developer, there is no way these features could be accidental - they are hardcoded options hidden at the bottom of a page to advertise your service to the max.... so please dont insult peoples intelligence by claiming it isn't a feature by design!

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