Hunch and Facebook: Permission Denied

August 5, 2010

The newly relaunched Hunch.com, a nifty recommendation engine, asks you to login using Facebook Connect or Twitter. The Facebook Request for Permission is striking (and appropriate) in its detail, showing real progress in Facebook’s privacy disclosure framework:

Maybe I’m unique, but this continuing level of access to my Facebook information (and that of my friends) is more than I’m prepared to provide in exchange for free recommendations. Plus, there’s no indication how this can be undone if I change my mind.

The link here to Terms of Service probably isn’t as pertinent as would be a link to Hunch’s privacy policy. Unfortunately, the Hunch privacy policy doesn’t provide any clue of how they handle Facebook information, since apparently it hasn’t been updated for the relaunch.

As a result, my choice was “Don’t Allow.” Puzzlingly, pressing that button simply refreshed the page and restated the request. There’s no option to allow use of less information — like perhaps just what is already public — even if I’m willing to live with recommendations that aren’t quite as good.

My takeaway: Great example of how privacy architecture must be fused with product design in order to tap into the value of user profiles. For this user at least, Hunch hasn’t cracked that code just yet.

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