Facebook Will Let Developers Ask For Mobile Numbers, But Will Do More to Highlight Risks

Facebook has responded to Congressman Ed Markey’s questions about its plan to allow users to grant applications access to their phone number and home addresses. The response explains that Facebook is considering answering widespread criticism of the plan by highlighting contact information requests in the permissions screen and barring apps from asking minors for this info.

On January 14th, Facebook announced in a post on its Developers Blog that it would begin allowing users to authorize applications to access their mobile phone number and home address through that standard “Requests for Permission” dialog that users see when installing apps.

Inside Facebook and others criticized the plan, saying that though it would facilitate innovation, requests for such sensitive data should be more prominent within the permissions flow. On January 18th, Facebook temporarily disabled contact info requests based on the criticism and feedback from users.

Markey and fellow Congressman Joe Barton, the Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a set of questions on February 2nd asking why Facebook would grant access to contact information, if this would violate its own privacy policy, and how a re-deployed version of the requests would address concerns.

>> Continue reading on Inside Facebook.