Compromising privacy out of convenience is a dangerous proposition. Unfortunately, it’s also a very common practice that really needs to end. The compromise occurs whenever we elect to log into web sites or Internet-based accounts utilizing our social media networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Granted, when doing so, there is a possibility that you will enjoy a more customized user experience. However, is the customized experience worth the cost? If you do so to simply avoid creating another account, it’s time to rethink your actions. The potential cost is rarely ever worth the convenience.
When signing in through social media accounts, you are providing authorized access to personal information, likes, information about your friends and social contacts, as well as access to your network activity. In addition, this action often authorizes the site to use your activity feed to promote their app, and expand their user base via your assisted organic or viral reach (the unpaid distribution achieved through the unique persons who consume your activity feed). With the appropriate permissions, you are providing the company with valuable structured data that amounts to a marketing dossier to leverage as a commodity. While some argue that you can revoke anytime, nothing prevents a site from retaining the information it has already captured.
Of course, resisting the temptation to sign in using your social media account means managing yet another password. However, using a password management application like Roboform or 1Password provides convenience and security by allowing you to generate random passwords for every site. [via Attribution Labs Blog]