Facebook permissions

When you willingly give your data away, you lose control of where it goes once it's no longer in your hands

Last week we told you about a bug on Facebook, where the popular social network ended up sharing some personal information with your friends. There's some more talk about it again today, as Symantec has stated that "the first time you launch the Facebook application, even before logging in, your phone number will be sent over the Internet to Facebook servers. You do not need to provide your phone number, log in, initiate a specific action, or even need a Facebook account for this to happen."

The thing is, if you installed the Facebook app, you agreed to give them this information. It spells it out in simple terms, and forced you to agree to it before you could download the app.

This doesn't excuse Facebook for the latest privacy gaffe, but it does highlight the need to look at those permissions -- and understand them -- for each and every app you install. They are all there, and if you come across something you don't understand there are plenty of people to help you figure it out in the forums.

We're not saying the Android permissions system is perfect. But it is there, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves when we agree to something we end up not liking.

Update: People are asking about the pre-installed version of Facebook on their carrier and OEM branded phones. When you set up your phone, or first use the app, you're given a link to the full set of Facebook policies, including their data use policy. If what data is being collected is important to you, that's readily available right from your phone settings. On your first trip to the Google Play store, you'll be asked to update to the Google Play version, which again reviews all of the app permissions. This information is there, you only need to read it.