New Samsung Galaxy S5 with Facebook Privacy Loop / by Jared

So I got myself a new Samsung Galaxy S5 as my new phone. Moving from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus it didn't seem like a big jump to make (minus the unremovable bloatware it still is very much an android device). One thing that stuck out for me is when I went to install the Facebook App.  Here is where I got annoyed at how Samsung may be programming or configuring their OS in poor taste.

First you get the notification:

Then you get "Allow Access" even though Facebook is working fine. 

Then it prompts from inside FB:

"Galaxy S5 will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, email address, custom friends lists, News Feed, birthday, notes, status updates, events, photos, videos and personal description and your friends' birthdays, status updates, events, photos and videos."

Although it does say

"This does not let Galaxy S5 post to Facebook. Your public profile is your name, profile picture and other public info."

... phew.

 Then the notification pops up again...

 Which brings you back to the FB authorization page...

 And round and round we go...

... until you clear your notifications bar without clicking the notification itself.

To get out of this click "Clear All" under notifications without clicking on the notification itself.

Three things bother me about this:

  1. This is designed to make sure you give "Samsung Galaxy" access to all of your Facebook content. It has nothing to do with your phone's ability to use the Facebook App!
  2. They make it circular (Notifcation -> App -> Notifcation) so they get as many people as possible to give them this information.
  3. They tell you absolutely nothing about what this information will be used for.

The whole thing just seems skeezy. In an age where we are sharing all of our information online and in the case of Samsung where all communication is done on their devices, do they really need your FB info to get ahead. At least make it optional to be totally at Samsung's mercy. Now I know there are other options on the market and that would give you an out when it comes to personal privacy, but come on guys. You have a good product and a good market share. Don't listen to the bean counters when they say "Hey, we can make a few extra bucks by mining FB data." Respond with, "Yeah, but why? What does that do for our customers?" And if they have a valid answer, let us know (the people who pay you monies).