Tech Crunch recently published 5 Design Tricks Facebook Uses to Affect Your Privacy Decisions, a very enlightening artlicle by Avi Charkham of MyPermissions personal cloud security service.
Do you know how many apps access your personal information on Facebook? Check your Facebook apps permissions and get ready for a surprise.
Click that button! I keep my Facebook activity relatively low. I thought very low, but seemingly not. I thought I'd have four or five apps engaged at most, but no, I've fifteen. Where did they come from, half of them I can't even remember.
In a Nutshell
In a nutshell Facebook have changed from the old "Allow" or "Don't Allow" warning to a new friendlier and nothing to fear message of "Play Game" or similar app appropriate message. The new buttons really do just completely ignore that there are any concerns or issues at all. As Charkham points out, Facebook still give you an outline of what's going to happen with your permissions but it's in the light grey text under all the action or more specifics are only linked by a tiny questions mark. Tests show we've been trained to completely ignore this whole area anyway and few ever read it.
The psychology of the change is quite intriguing. The old style was binary; make a choice, go or no go with stated risk involved. It's a question of trust, do you trust these people? This turned it into a risk versus reward scenario, do I want what they have enough to risk my information in their hands? Often for me the answer was no. This was obviously a problem for Facebook and those willing to create apps on their platform, you need massive adoption and opt-in rates when you get to that stage. Scaring people away from opting in just wasn't working so they made it lighter and fluffier.