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Is Facebook becoming Spambook? Apps can now demand your email address

Just when you think the Facebook privacy debate has reached its peak, the popular social network drops another privacy-related bomb. This time, Facebook has said it will allow apps to demand users' email addresses. Currently, apps communicate with you via the red-flag "updates" tab in the bottom-right corner of the site. On the plus side, Facebook is taking that annoyance away. On the "oh my gosh, this could really suck" side, it's asking app creators to reach users via email instead.

Of course, you don't have to hand over your email address to any app, and they're required to send you through a series of dialog boxes making sure you've given them the go-ahead to have your information. That would be the end of the problem, except for one thing: Facebook is allowing apps to deny access to any user who doesn't hand over an email address.

With no alternative mode of sending out messages, I'm sure a lot of developers will gladly take advantage of this forced option. On top of that, the old on-site notifications were only allowed to bug you a certain number of times. With email, it's open season. Facebook has okayed developers to send you as many emails as they darn well feel like sending.

Disaster! It looks like Facebookers will be forced to choose between email privacy and their favorite apps. Facebook's proposed solution? Give the app a proxy email instead. That's certainly the alternative I'd go for if I were particularly attached to a Facebook app. What about you, DLS readers?

[via Washington Post]

Tags: apps, developers, email, facebook, notification, privacy, SocialNetworking, spam