Facebook suspends phone and address-sharing feature
Facebook has sharply backtracked after alarming its users with the news that their addresses and mobile phone numbers were to be shared with developers of external websites and applications.
Facebook: disables phone and address-sharing feature
On Friday (14 February), the social networking site announced on its developers' blog that it had expanded on the information that is shared with external websites. This attracted criticism from IT security consultants who said that the change was not signposted clearly enough to users.
Facebook claimed the move would benefit users who would experience a more streamlined shopping experience and up-to-the minute alerts on deals.
In a statement on its developer blog today (18 January) Facebook said the feature had been "temporarily disabled", while it found a more robust way to ensure users were "more clearly aware" that they were granting access to this data.
The statement said: "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."
It said it would launch an "improved" feature in the next few weeks.
Facebook has provoked privacy backlashes from users and regulators on several occasions, most recently at the beginning 2010 when it introduced privacy settings which defaulted users' profile settings to public.
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