Facebook wants to know your political views before it gives you a birthday card

We all know that Facebook and its 3rd party apps have a voracious appetite for our personal information, and I think it cheapens the user experience, at least for those of us that are concerned about online privacy.

Recently a friend of mine was kind enough to send me a birthday card on Facebook, but to view it I would have to tell the app every detail of my being:

Facebook birthday card alert

  • photos
  • education histories
  • hometowns
  • interests
  • likes
  • locations
  • relationship statuses
  • relationship details
  • religious and political views
  • websites and work histories

Imagine if the postman demanded to know all these things before they handed over your post – you’d tell them to get lost – but somehow it has become normalised online.

Perhaps if the birthday card weaves the trivia of my life into a wondrous interactive celebration of my existence, it might be worth handing over those details, but I have no way of knowing by looking at the alert box.

My advice to the makers of this birthday card app is to show an example or a sneak peek so I can tell if it’s worth trading my personal info.

Until then I’ll happily stick with simple text birthday wishes on my Facebook wall, which warm the cookies of my heart just as effectively 🙂