Facebook is temporarily holding off on sharing its users’ addresses and phone numbers with developers and websites after a bit of frustration from its users and security experts.
But the move to grant access to such information to external websites and applications isn’t going away altogether, Facebook said in a post on its Developer Blog on Tuesday morning.
For now, the ability for third-party Facebook app developers and websites to request a user’s address and phone number has been disabled, but it will come back, the company said.
Facebook first announced the move to grant such access Friday night.
“Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data,” wrote Douglas Purdy, a Facebook spokesman. “We agree, and we are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so.
“We’ll be working to launch these updates as soon as possible, and will be temporarily disabling this feature until those changes are ready. We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.”
Graham Cluley, a security expert at Sophos who writes for its Naked Security blog, described the decision on Facebook’s part to enable the sharing of such information as a “move that could herald a new level of danger for Facebook users.”
Cluley and others warned that the ability to access users’ home addresses and phone numbers would create increased risk for identity theft, particularly when combined with the other data already available to be extracted from Facebook profiles.
“I realise that Facebook users will only have their personal information accessed if they ‘allow’ the app to do so, but there are just too many attacks happening on a daily basis which trick users into doing precisely this,” Cluley wrote.