Facebook information sharing
August 22, 2011 2:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I stop Facebook sharing my information with other websites?

For example - if I am logged into Facebook and visit www.somesitethatrequiresregistration.com, the site pre-populates its registration fields with info from my Facebook profile, including email address and other fields that are viewable only by me on Facebook. I have combed through Facebook's privacy settings but can't find how to switch this off. Anyone else find this? It's enough to make me leave Facebook!
posted by yogalemon to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
is there a reason you can't log out of facebook when you're not on the page? security originating from you will always be more secure than trusting anyone else (especially facebook).

if there is a reason that won't work - the second half of this article explains how to block it through adblock plus. i used a similar fix to keep facebook chat permanently turned off.
posted by nadawi at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2011

Leave facebook. It's not worth the hassle.
posted by drhydro at 2:43 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

How about using a different browser for Facebook? Between Chrome, Opera, Firefox (and then myriad more depending on your operating system, those three are available on the big 3) you can generally find a browser you're comfortable using just for social networking while keeping other browsers for other web use.

Barring that, seconding nadawi's suggestion for AdBlock Plus.
posted by straw at 2:55 PM on August 22, 2011

How can I stop Facebook sharing my information with other websites?

You can't. You gave them information. You have to trust them not to do bad things with it. Sorry.
posted by massysett at 2:56 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

I use an add-on called Ghostery which seems to have versions for every browser. I blocks a whole load of tracking and cross-site scripts (not just Facebook). It stops most thinks like Facebook Connect, Google Analytics (blocked on this particular page on MeFi, for example) which might be what you're looking for...
posted by benzo8 at 3:00 PM on August 22, 2011 [4 favorites]

Seconding using a separate browser just for Facebook and nothing else. Works for me.
posted by amf at 3:14 PM on August 22, 2011

As an alternative to a separate browser, I'm wondering if private browsing (ie. Incognito Mode on Google Chrome) might serve the same purpose.
posted by Telpethoron at 3:17 PM on August 22, 2011

yup, use Ghostery.
posted by modernnomad at 3:59 PM on August 22, 2011

Can you give me a specific example of a site that is doing this?

The only thing that I can think of that would seem like this is Facebook Connect, which allows a site to use your Facebook account as a login method, and requires you to authorize the site to access that information before they get anything from you. If you don't trust the site to use that data in a good manner, you shouldn't be authorizing them.

As far as I am aware, external sites never have access to your Facebook information without you first authorizing them to link to your account. The exceptions to this are Facebook's Social Plugins, which use iframes to insert personalized information into another page. The iframe means that the other site doesn't actually have your information, they just inserted a generic Facebook element that Facebook then fills with the appropriate info.

Separate from all of this, using an "incognito" or "private browsing" mode on your browser will eliminate all of this, if you are super concerned.

Hope that helps clarify things.
posted by Allenthar at 4:00 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you are using Chrome, there's an extension called Facebook Disconnect that works really well for me. While I have it active, it blocks any facebook widgets on sites I visit from connecting with my facebook account. Presumably, what you're describing would be taken care of, too.

I'm not personally familiar with Facebook Blocker, but it claims to do the same thing for Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Opera.
posted by droomoord at 5:19 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm pretty sure those connectors you see aren't really being generated by the third party website. That website just has a glob of code on it that says "see if this browser has a facebook cookie and if so, put a sign-in box here. if not, put a sign up box here." The info comes from your computer or facebook.

In other words, you are the only one who can see that stuff.
posted by gjc at 5:39 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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