This seemingly harmless Facebook app is actually super invasive

Uh-oh. There’s trouble brewing in Facebook app paradise.

Over 17 million people have been using Korean developer Vonvon’s Most Used Words app, which scans a user’s Facebook posts and generates a word cloud displaying the terms they use the most on this platform. Sounds pretty harmless, right?

Well, apparently, this app can do a lot more when it’s studying your profile. Specifically, Vonvon is able to acquire your name, entire friend list, profile pic, age, sex, birthday, all your photos (even the ones you’re tagged in), your hometown and current city, education background, IP address, and everything you’ve ever posted. Okay, now that’s quite a bit of private info.

An even more concerning question: What can the app developer do with all this information?

According to Vonvon’s privacy policy, all these details can be collected on its severs “at any location” across the globe. This means that they can easily dodge your country’s privacy protection laws.

And it turns out that Vonvon can use your info after you stop utilizing the app. Although the corporation promises not to sell these particulars to another company without giving notice, they claim that this is proper notification: telling you that they are selling your information without any forewarning. (Not cool.)

To calm users’ reasonable concerns, Vonvon CEO Jonghwa Kim stated, “We only use your information to generate your results, and we never store it for other purposes.” The CEO added that they “have nothing to sell” because they do not save any information. Kim also mentioned that his company has adjusted its permission requests to address these worries.

If you currently have the app installed, do not panic. Simply visit your Facebook Privacy settings and located the Apps tab. Then, you can modify the app’s permissions or permanently get rid of it. If you haven’t yet downloaded the app, then you may want to avoid doing so in the future.

Note to self: read all the privacy policies.

[Image via Twitter]

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