Skip to main content

Facebook disables new home address sharing feature

facebook-developer-home-address-mobile-number-given-away
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After only three days, Facebook has temporarily disabled a new feature that would enable applications to ask users for access to their home addresses and mobile phone numbers. In a post on the social site’s Developer Blog, employee Douglass Purdy explains that the feature will return, but will first be retooled to give users greater control over their contact information.

“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,” said Purdy. “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.”

Yesterday, we explained the details and problems with the new feature. Basically, Facebook gave apps permission to ask you if they will “allow” personal data to be shared like home address and mobile number. However, it was rigged so that these permissions could be lumped in with a blanket “Allow” or “Don’t Allow” screen when users first install any app. So to use the app, you have to give it access to your address and phone number even though it’s highly unlikely any app needs that information to run properly. More than likely, most apps would only use such information for ad and sales purposes.

It’s good to see Facebook responding to criticisms in a timely manner. It shows that the site is learning from its mistakes and capable of defending its users, given enough public outrage. However, it would be nice if it didn’t take a bunch of security experts, blogs, and Websites decrying a new feature to get Facebook to care. It should be thinking about privacy issues before it releases features, not after.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
7 best 2-in-1 laptops in 2024: tested and reviewed
The back of the Surface Pro 9, with the kickstand pulled out.

The 2-in-1 form factor has certainly come into its own over the last several years. There's really no reason to limit yourself to a clamshell, as there's a 2-in-1 that will meet the needs of all but the most demanding users in terms of sheer performance.

We've reviewed every great 2-in-1 you can buy, including Chromebooks, convertibles, and powerful 16-inch versions. The overall best 2-in-1 at the moment is the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, with its fantastic keyboard that's as easy to remove as it is to type on, a 120Hz display, and a haptic-enabled pen. It's almost as good a laptop as it is a tablet, which is what makes it the best overall 2-in-1.

Read more
This laptop with 128GB of RAM is 42% off in Lenovo’s ‘Annual Sale’
A man works at a Lenovo ThinkPad P16 mobile workstation set up on a desk with two external monitors connected.

For a laptop that will be able to handle anything that you throw at it -- even the most demanding tasks that you can think of -- you should check out the Lenovo ThinkPad P16. It's pretty expensive with an estimated value of $9,939, but you can get it at a 42% lower price of $5,759 from the Lenovo Annual Sale. It's still not cheap, but you'll be getting amazing value with $4,180 in savings on such an extremely powerful device. You'll need to hurry with your purchase though, because there's no telling when the offer will expire.

Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad P16
The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 will beat the performance of the top-of-the-line models of the best laptops with its 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Nvidia RTX 5000 Ada Generation graphics card, and 128GB of RAM. To put that in context, our guide on how much RAM do you need says 32GB is the sweet spot for professionals and high-end gamers, and 64GB is the starting point for demanding jobs like engineers and multimedia editors.

Read more
How to split your screen on Windows 11
Split screen feature on Windows 11.

Windows 11 is a pretty powerful operating system for productivity. And its ability to snap windows in various configurations is incredibly helpful as it makes multitasking a breeze and managing multiple applications much more efficient.

But Windows 11's split screen features can't help you if you don't know how to use them. In this guide, we'll show you how to use the operating system's split screen tools, including Snap Layouts and Snap Assist. And we'll even go over how to disable Windows 11's split screen features, if you decide later you'd rather not use them.

Read more