A Good Survey of Facebook Changes

I’ve only writing about the looming privacy concerns falling out of Facebooks near term roadmap. A lot more changes, almost too many to digest in a single sitting, came out of their recent F8 conference.

theharmonyguy, who has been doing an excellent job exploring and explaining security concerns around Facebook, has a superb summary of all of these changes. The pros and cons he furnishes go well beyond just the security concerns, though those are well attended.

My favorite is Facebook’s adoption of an open standard, finally, OAuth, specifically the very new 2.0 version. They were a significant hold out making this a considerable win for the open standard. I am ambivalent around the rest, especially considering the constant thread of control present through all of them. Also, the idea of allowing Facebook’s tentacles to grope beyond its own self-made walled enclosure into the rest of the web brings concerns about their attitude towards privacy and control. I will be less ambivalent if the adoption of these capabilities is high enough and hence makes the cost of a permanent opt out, deleting my account, too dear.

I would lean very strongly towards characterizing their attitude around privacy and adequate user control as delinquent, intentionally so. That may be too strong a word but I think there is evidence in the trend of their behavior and changes over time to support it. They do make some concessions with these changes to improve permissions around applications but I am concerned that they may be introducing the same kinds of plaguing problems well beyond their own platform to entire third party web sites.

No doubt these new APIs and changes will prove a lot to digest for developers so it may take a while to realize the full implications. On the security and privacy front, I trust theharmonyguy based on his track record to date to determine whether my fears prove to be baseless or with cause.

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