Score one more for Facebook's "act first, apologize later" strategy.
Last month the company announced it would make user information-including phone numbers-available to application developers. But they wouldn't get access to the data until after they got express permission "through the usual permission dialogues," according to the INQUIRER.
After only three days, however, Facebook suspended the program, indicating it had received feedback that users weren't exactly clear on when they would and would not be giving up access to their information, even with the standard permissions dialogue boxes. At the time, Facebook said:
[W]e are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so. ... We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.
But how much information did the developers get in those three days? And why does Facebook want to give it to them anyway?
In a statement, Markey said:
Facebook needs to protect the personal information of its users to ensure that Facebook doesn't become Phonebook.
How much would you bet that's exactly what Facebook wants to happen? And by pushing the envelope bit by bit before regulators decide on these issues, the company may well succeed-for better or worse.