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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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Sharing Private User Data: Opt-in Versus Opt-out

Most of us probably share a lot of our private data with applications or containers that we interact with on a regular basis. Whether this is Facebook or another social network that maintains a complete user profile on us, or services like Gowalla and Foursquare that track our locations, it’s crucial to understand how our information is being shared with others.

Let’s face it: the true value in a social network or application is the opportunity it gives us to interact and share information or ideas with others, so we’re unlikely to stop putting that data out there. Even though this is the case, we should still be aware of the different models the majority of containers use to share our personal information with others.

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