Friday, September 4, 2009

Facebook Quizzes

Quizzes abound on Facebook. Here are a few samples:

Which Harry Potter character are you?
Which Transformer are you?
How evil are you?
Who were you in a past life?
What is your biggest fear?
What kind of Mom are you?
What famous movie star are you?

When a user clicks on an icon to take a quiz, he or she will usually get a screen like the one below:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, is concerned that quizzes and other Facebook applications may be accessing a whole lot more than users realize.

For example, a user can reject a quiz but if his/her friend takes it, the quiz can still access almost all of the first user's information, unless it is specifically restricted by privacy settings.1 They are also concerned by the fact that Facebook developers (the ones who create the quizzes) are not screened "for trustworthiness" or required to "comply with a privacy policy."2

The ACLU of Northern California has created their own Facebook privacy quiz to test users knowledge of Facebook privacy policies and created an online petition for better privacy on the social networking site.

Recently Facebook agreed to increase user privacy in response to complaints from the ACLU and the Canadian Privacy Commission.3

For more information, visit their Facebook page , take the quiz, or read one of the following related articles:

Harris, Scott Duke. "Facebook knows too much, ACLU says in warning of quizzes." San Jose Mercury News. August 26, 2009.

Hefflinger, Mark. "Facebook Increases Privacy Protections on Quiz Applications." digitalmediawire. August 27, 2009.

1 Perez, Sarah. "What Facebook Quizzes Know about You."
August 27, 2009.
2 Ibid.

Hefflinger, Mark. "Facebook Increases Privacy Protections on Quiz Applications." August 27, 2009.


Cathy W. said...

Thank you for the info, tips, and links. Going to follow the advice and pass the info along to friends.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Really useful information for those of us concerned about our privacy, yet trying to use social networking tools.

Janie said...

Thanks, Yvonne! Did you post some of this on Facebook? I will pass it on.

Yvonne said...

I did post a link on Facebook late last month.