Facebook is adding new privacy safeguards to Facebook Login, which allows users to log into other websites and mobile apps using their Facebook usernames and passwords.
The changes, which Facebook says will be adopted by websites and mobile apps within the next year, will give users more choices about the personal information they share with third parties. By checking or unchecking a box, users will be able to specify if they want to share their friend list, their birthday or their “likes,” among others.
Currently, people who log in with Facebook Login don’t control the information they share, including their email addresses, their friend lists and other personal data. App developers and other outsiders decide what information they collect from users.
Facebook is also launching an anonymous login option that will allow people to log in to apps and websites without sharing any personal data with those apps or sites. Developers of apps and websites will choose whether to use the anonymous login alongside or in place of the traditional login.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes Wednesday at the company’s f8 conference for mobile developers.
“We know some people are scared of pressing this blue button” for social login, Zuckerberg said. “If you’re using an app that you don’t completely trust … then you don’t want to give it a lot of permissions.”
Social login helps Facebook collect more personal information about its users, like shopping preferences, browsing habits and mobile app use. Facebook uses the information it gathers to sell targeted advertisements. Facebook last week reported first-quarter ad revenue of $2.3 billion, up 82% from a year earlier.
Facebook Login accounts for just over half of social logins, according to Gigya, which provides social login technology to web site and mobile app developers. Google’s social login product accounts for 31%. On mobile, Facebook leads by large margin, with 62% to Google’s 26%, according to Gigya.
If Facebook users decide to share less information, the new options could reduce the amount of data that apps and websites can collect from Facebook users.
Facebook says developers can still benefit from using Facebook Login because it makes the sign-in process easier. Giving users more assurances about privacy could also encourage more people to log in, says Eddie O’Neil, a Facebook product manager. Website and app developers “understand giving their users transparency is super important,” he said.