Facebook backtracks over user addresses

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Facebook - a little taken aback - has temporarily disabled a feature allowing developers to access users' home addresses and phone numbers.

Over the weekend, it announced on its developers' blog that where users gave permission, this information would be shared with developers to speed up applications like e-commerce and ticketing.

But security experts warned that many users would give permission for the data to be shared without noticing or realizing the implications. It's also caused concern that sharing this data with a large number of developers would increase the chances of fraud.

Now, Facebook - already wounded by countless privacy scandals over the last couple of years - has decided to backtrack. "We're taking the opportunity to listen to feedback and get this right and we wanted to be proactive about it," a spokesperson told TG Daily.

The company's still planning to add the feature, but has temporarily disabled it while it works out a better way to handle the permissions.

"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. We agree, and we are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so," says Douglas Purdy on the company's developer blog.

"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."