Buzzfeed: How Facebook Decides What Apps Get Your Data

app_centerThis past spring, Facebook implemented a new app review policy to ensure only functional and honest apps made it on to the site. In particular, the process was created to target apps that asked for too much personal information from users. Now, according to Buzzfeed, the preliminary results of the review process are in, and it seems to be working.

App developers used to ask for an average of five extra permissions from users above and beyond the basics. Now, however, that number is down to two. 25,000 apps have been reviewed so far, and Facebook notes that they can review most apps in about a day. According to the site, they wanted to make the login experience feel more flexible and lightweight — and more private.

“It’s one of the ways we want to make people feel comfortable, when they press login they feel like that’s a good experience,” said Facebook product manager Sean Leow. “I’m not scared to push this button, they see the dialogue where the app is looking for two pieces of data, that makes sense, it means I’m gonna have that good experience, versus when you go into some apps they may ask you for 50 things, that doesn’t feel great.”

Third-party applications are still one of the greatest threats to security and privacy on the Internet; it’s often hard, if not impossible, for sites like Facebook to completely police apps that aren’t under their control. However, this more rigorous review process should go a long way toward reducing spammy and malicious apps.