An online quiz that has attracted more than 17 million people has drawn intense criticism as a massive invasion of privacy.
In order to play the quiz, those Facebook users “have agreed to give up almost every private detail about themselves to a company they likely know nothing about,” says veteran tech writer Paul Bischoff.
The quiz, which was created by the Vonvon company, asks: “What words did you use frequently this year on Facebook?”
It continues: “Vonvon analyzed your posts and created customized results just for you, so that you can see what your main interests were in 2015!”
This sounds like fun, but in reality, it’s “a privacy nightmare,” Bischoff writes.
That’s not just for you, but also for your Facebook friends, Bischoff writes.
It records your name, age, profile picture, other public info, entire friend list, all of your timeline posts, every photo you have posted or been tagged in, education history, hometown, everything you have ‘liked,’ and IP address, Bischoff writes.
This information can be stored anywhere on the globe, including countries with weak privacy laws, Bischoff warns.
On Tuesday, Nov. 24, The Toronto Star was trying to reach a Vonvon spokesperson, for comment on the criticism.
According to Bischoff, there are no take-backs once you have played the quiz. And it gets worse, Bischoff suggests.
“Vonvon is free to sell your data to whomever it pleases for a profit,” Bischoff writes.
“Companies who you have never met can now access your entire Facebook profile — friends, photos, statuses and all — and use them in ways you never directly agreed to. By the way, if you edit the permissions before authenticating the app with Facebook, Vonvon won’t allow you to play the quiz.”