Tuesday 28 June 2016

New viral Facebook quizzes spark fresh privacy concerns as unwitting users give away huge swathes of personal facts

Published 18/12/2015 | 18:45

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Fresh privacy concerns have been raised over a new viral app on Facebook which could have unwitting users handing over huge amounts of information without even knowing it.

The latest in a series of apps sparking privacy nightmares, ‘Meaww quizzes’ has been accused of ‘data mining’ significant amount of personal information from millions of users.

The company is famous for its popular quizzes like 'Which friend is secretly angry with you?', ‘Who is your craziest friend?’ and ‘Which friend gives you positive vibes?’.

When a user on Facebook plays one of these, the app is said to not only scan their Facebook posts and store the data but also subtlety require them to reveal many personal facts about themselves.

That personal data includes name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, entire friend list, everything you have posted on your timeline, home town, education history and everything that has ever been liked,

The app also requests access to all of users’ friends list, email address, timeline posts and photos.

The quizzes themselves too also provide a large amount of data, security experts warn.

Since the questions are designed to get users to reveal things about themselves, they also provide a large amount of valuable data which, according to the Meaww’s terms and conditions, it can sale to third- parties such as advertisers.

“We receive data about you whenever you use or interact with Meaww, such as how and when you view, use or otherwise interact with content and materials in our WebSite.

“For example, we may infer data from your replies and answers to the quizzes in this WebSite or the results thereof”.

A range of companies exist on Facebook that ask users to sign into their apps and so share personal information.

Last month warnings were sparked by a new Facebook quiz which highlights a users most used words on the social network.

Shared more than 16 million times in just a matter of days, the app required users to provide a significant amount of personal information.

Like Meaww’s app, the company behind this quiz also collects a users name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public information.

Also collected is entire friend list, timelines, photos, IP address and information about the device currently being used to browser Facebook on.

UK tech company Comparitech, specialises in online privacy, says that the best way a user can protect themselves  is to avoid online quizzes that require Facebook authentication altogether.

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