Google engineer develops Facebook Disconnect to protect your online privacy

facebookAbout two years ago, Facebook launched Facebook Connect, a service that allows third party websites to leverage Facebook data by allowing their users to connect their Facebook profile with the website for deeper integration.

Thousands of third party websites and applications currently use Facebook Connect, promptly raising privacy concerns over how personal data is being handled, and what data is accessible to third parties, among other concerns.

In the past few weeks, Facebook applications like FarmVille reportedly shared confidential personal information about users obtained through Facebook Connect with numerous different partners such as advertising networks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FarmVille app, which has almost 60-million users on Facebook, specifically shared personal data with up to 25 third parties without user knowledge.

Personal information included unique Facebook IDs, age, and occupation, among other personally identifiable information.

As more people utilize Facebook to stay connected, more and more people are posting personal information without realizing the information is not always private, and that it could even be shared with third parties without their knowledge.

To help ensure online privacy, Brian Kennish (@byoogle), an engineer at Google, developed Facebook Disconnect, an extension for the Google Chrome browser, which effectively blocks the transmission of data back to Facebook servers through Facebook Connect on third party websites, while still allowing a user to access the sites.

The developer says the project was created on his own time, and it is not endorsed or related with his employer, Google, in any way, express, or implied.

The developer is expected to release the application for other popular browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, among others.

Update: When reached for further comment, Brian Kennish, the developer of the plug-in, declined to provide any additional comments to us.

 


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  • https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ Stark

    I still think the best way is to use a VPN because Facebook already has your IP saved and can cross reference it with other databases that advertisers and other sites use/have, etc. There are a lot of free VPNs and pay ones too.

    • Jj_gogo

      VPN? What? That wouldn’t do anything related to this article.

    • Jj_gogo

      VPN? What? That wouldn’t do anything related to this article.

    • Stevecase

      what VPN? I think you missed the whole fucking point of the article dumbass

    • Stevecase

      what VPN? I think you missed the whole fucking point of the article dumbass

  • https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ Stark

    I still think the best way is to use a VPN because Facebook already has your IP saved and can cross reference it with other databases that advertisers and other sites use/have, etc. There are a lot of free VPNs and pay ones too.

  • Trevor

    You mean “expressed” not “express”.

  • Trevor

    You mean “expressed” not “express”.

  • Wwtd

    Wow, what a novel idea…except that I have already had a FF extension that blocks Facebook Connect and a gazillion other trackers. It’s called Ghostery and actually blocked it on this page as well.

  • http://www.charlesyarbrough.com Charles Yarbrough

    Great idea, it’s sad what we let these companies get away with. Funny I almost used facebook connect here to login.

  • http://www.charlesyarbrough.com Charles Yarbrough

    Great idea, it’s sad what we let these companies get away with. Funny I almost used facebook connect here to login.

  • GoogleTracker

    Kinda ironic given Google is by far the biggest user tracker in the world.

    • Anonymous

      You get that right

  • GoogleTracker

    Kinda ironic given Google is by far the biggest user tracker in the world.

  • http://messigirlfriend.com/ SANA IRFAN KHAN

    i think facebook shares tooo much personal data with other applications that have some connection with facebook :(

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