Facebook has created a new plugin that will allow users of third-party apps to control what information those apps share, while they are actually using those apps on the wider web. Ordinarily a user would have to go back to Facebook to access the individual privacy settings for each app that they have allowed to interact with their Facebook Profile.
The plugin – called Shared Activity – lists a user’s activities published from an app to their Facebook Timeline, including Like button stories, comments and Open Graph activities. Writing on the Facebook Developers Blog, Andrew Chen explains how someone would use the Shared Activity plugin:
“For example, when an individual uses a music app, she could modify the privacy settings, through the plugin, for specific song listening activities, without needing to go back to Facebook to control what’s shown. Similarly, if a person, through a travel app, likes a restaurant or reviews a hotel, and decides that these activities should only be viewable to a select group on friends on Facebook, he can control this within the plugin as well.”
It is hoped that this will give users another way to regulate the content that they are sharing on Facebook, as well as more control over their privacy settings. However, in the past when Facebook has modified or supplemented privacy controls it has often been met with a backlash of users claiming that it is just another layer of complexity to contend with – what is your view?