By B.L. Ochman
What 25 million people gave to “Most Used Words” Quiz Creator
If you’re one of the more than 25 million people who took the “Most Used Words” quiz on Facebook, here’s what Paul Bischoff of Comparitech says you gave away about yourself and your friends to Vonvon.me, creator of the app:
- Name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public info
- Entire friend list
- Everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline
- All of your photos and photos you’re tagged in
- Your education history
- Hometown and current city
- Everything you’ve ever liked on Facebook
- IP address
- Info about the device you’re using including browser and language
Perhaps worst of all, your friends are not notified when you use a Facebook app or quiz and provide access to their information.
Important: Watch my interview with Bischoff to learn the three things you need to change in your privacy settings before you use another Facebook app or take a quiz.
Depending on the requirements of the app or quiz creator, you sometimes can remove all permissions except your public profile and Facebook timeline posts, and still use the app or play the quiz. However, as Bischoff points out, “most people that play probably won’t bother.”
Facebook Quiz Dangers
Like so many of the quizes and apps that are shared on Facebook, the “Most Used Words” app is free, quick and kinda fun. The problem: instead of using it within Facebook (who already knows everything about your entire life), you use the quiz and apps on third party sites that collect and can store the information about you and all of your friends on their servers. Those servers could be anywhere in the world, even in countries that have very lax privacy laws.
What do they do with your information? Facebook prohibits them from selling your data, but how is that rule enforced? There’s no way to know.
Changes you need to make
The good news: you can change your privacy settings, and the information you share with apps, and Bischoff tells you how to do that in this interview. Or you can resist the urge to use the next Facebook app or play the next quiz that comes around.
Please Note: I first published this post in 2015, but I’m running it again as a public service.