- Dean Smith
Facebook Quizzes and Other Apps Threaten Your Privacy
As private investigators, we constantly stress the importance of investigating the social media accounts of claimants, but this time, we want to focus on protecting YOUR privacy while on social media. We know all about privacy settings, the difference between public and private posts/photos, as well as frequently reviewing and updating our privacy settings due to changes in policies. However, how much do we know about the information we give away when we take quizzes and add other apps on Facebook?
Ah, they’re harmless, right? Wrong! According to Mark Wilson for BetaNews.com, “Quizzes, personality tests, friend comparisons, and year in review apps, however, are blackholes for personal data – and the huge range of apps from Meaww have been singled out as being a major cause for concern.”
You know the ones; “Who is your soulmate?”, “Which friend is your partner in crime?”, “Who are your closest friends?”, or even “What dog breed best correlates with your personality?” Sure, we take the quizzes just for fun. But after taking a look at the Meaww website (one of many quiz generators), a disclaimer at the bottom of the page reads, “All content is provided for fun and entertainment purposes only.” Maybe fun and entertainment is our only purpose, but we really can’t believe that Meaww gains no benefit from people taking their FREE quizzes.
When we agree to take the quiz and allow the application to access our information, our personal details, including email addresses, photos, timeline posts, friends and much more, are now considered property to Meaww (and tons of other similar Facebook applications). That information is collected and is then sold to advertisers, who then can sell the data on to other companies and so on and so forth.
“Meaww processes Personal Information on its servers in many countries around the world. Such information may be stored on any of our servers, at any location.”
Basically, all of your personal information is turned over and it is out of Meaww’s control what happens to it. Period.
If you place value on your privacy, and want to take additional measures to keep your personal information private, we suggest refraining from taking quizzes on Facebook altogether!