Can Old Facebook Apps Compromise Your Privacy?

Facebook has been around for a while and we have endured all the changes over the years. We love Facebook as we are able to connect with old friends, share thoughts and ideas and times of yesteryear which we hold close to the heart until we are met with yet another change that creates a new frenzy of how much is too much to share? The default settings that are imposed, the like and link, the newest visual profiles where we have photos that we have been tagged in are showcased on our profile (until we X them and a new one shows up). These give us reason for alarm but the real alarms are ones that are not discussed very often. The old apps that we forgot we even downloaded.

Facebook in the Beginning

Facebook was new, and very new to us all. It was an opportunity to explore and find people to connect with. People connecting and reconnecting to catch up (and not only to see who  you looked better than … ahem) was addictive. We had to know. Facebook answered the question “what ever happened to” and “I have been meaning to reach out.”  There are many questions that Facebook answered and as we saw others posting photos, family activities, downloading apps, we thought well if they are doing it, I guess I should. Cool kids club never really goes away, now does it? We had a perception that all that we were posting was “ours” and contained within our profile which we guarded. We downloaded apps which required a lot of information. Information at the time seemed harmless as it was through Facebook so it was safe. If we only knew then …

Old Facebook Apps

The old Facebook apps required a lot of information that we freely gave as we had to have that on our profile. As the years have gone by when is the last time we even looked at those old apps. Not only the ones we have not used or have been washed away in high tide, no, the ones that we still use. While the information that we freely handed over for the ones that have become inactive, we are not privy to what they actually did with our information, we never really gave it a second thought. The apps that are still active that we are still using we need to take a closer look at. Why? The updates to these apps are consistent with the privacy settings/controls within Facebook.

The Old vs New Facebook YouTube App

YouTube, an internet wonder child. We love YouTube but if we installed the app on Facebook prior to 2009, we are not affording ourselves the privacy that a new user is enjoying. Why? If you added the app prior to 2009 and have not deleted and reinstalled it, you have given YouTube just about all of the data in your profile, including that of your friends. Wow. While this on the surface is not necessarily alarming (unless you are my friend on Facebook), as we are unsure as to what they are doing with the data and how many of our friends have the app and/or have not reinstalled the app, we have to wonder.  Below you can see the information required for the old YouTube app vs the newer app.

Old Facebook YouTube app

How to Delete Old Facebook Apps

Deleting old Facebook apps or even apps that you have no memory of ever downloading is actually quite easy, after you get over looking at the apps wondering what exactly they are and why you would have ever downloaded them.

1. On your Facebook page at the top right, click the Account tab for the drop down menu.

facebook privacy settings

2. Click on Privacy Settings to bring you inside your account privacy settings panel.

3. Once you are inside the privacy settings scroll down to the bottom and click Apps and Websites.

old facebook apps compromise privacy

4.  Here, a snapshot of the apps that you have installed appears. To view all of your installed apps, click on Edit Settings.

5. To delete the app, simply click the “x” to the right of the app. A confirmation window will appear and once you click Okay, the app is removed.

how to delete old facebook apps

Privacy and Facebook together in the same sentence always brings a chuckle. For those that wish to keep their Facebook as private as they can, this article is for you as unknowingly you have exposed your information as well as your friends. It is always a good practice to take a look at our accounts every so often to look for updates, delete items that we have not used or are out of date.

So, were you shocked when you saw how many apps you had downloaded?

YouTube app photo credit: PBS News Hour

  • Wow I am surprised Facebook didn’t warn users about this. Of course I wouldn’t be worried about Youtube, but there are a lot of less-trustworthy apps out there and this security step has surely been overlooked by the vast majority of users.
    I use Facebook so sparsely I am not really affected by this but I’ll send an internal email at my company linked to this post, you never know.
    Thanks for sharing this Suzanne.

    • Gabriele

      They did not say much about it (from what I am thinking) is b/c they do not want people going and deleting a bunch of apps and never reinstalling them. They need to show that people are using the apps. Also, it gives the profile info which the app creator wants. When the privacy was changed, FB should have made the app creators updgrade and force all that downloaded to download the newer version. But, they did not

  • mdlnelson

    Facebook was new, and very new to us all. It was an opportunity to explore and find people to connect with.I think it’s important to remember we have enough power to do what we need on this earth. No more or no less than any other person, but enough to make changes that matter.

    Summerlin real estate