Popular Facebook App Compromises Privacy: Be Warned If You Took ‘Most Used Words’ Quiz

Facebook is full of fun games, apps, quizzes, and more, but you really shouldn’t trust every single thing you see on it. Facebook hoaxes always make the rounds, and sometimes, they aren’t just useless or playful. One of the most popular apps recently is one labeled as a quiz and let’s you know your “Most Used Words” on Facebook from the past year, but be warned as it may compromise your privacy.

Anyone that has been on the website of the social media giant in the past months or weeks or even days has probably seen someone use the popular app which is billed as a quiz.

Their post will be a picture that is a huge cluster of words and details the “Most Used Words” that have appeared in their status updates or picture captions over the past year. It seems fun and harmless, but it’s actually something that could be a big problem.

As reported by the Huffington Post, the “Most Used Words” quiz comes from an app powered by a company called Vonvon.

That all may sound extremely simple and perfectly fine, but the app actually grabs a gigantic amount of personally identifiable information and private details about the Facebook users using it. Your side of the bargain is a picture with a bunch of colorful words on it.

Here is just a little of what you may end up unknowingly divulging to Vonvon.

  • IP Address
  • Basic info such as name, age, profile picture, birthday, sex
  • Education history
  • Anything you’ve posted on your timeline
  • Your personal photos and any you’ve been tagged in
  • Hometown and present address
  • Everything you’ve liked on Facebook
  • Language
  • Details about the device and browser you are using
facebook most used words app quiz
Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty IMages

So, the problem here is that you actually aren’t just allowing the company into your personal information, but you’re giving them access to your friends and family as well. By them acquiring access to your tagged photos, it leads them to others you know, as well.

Now, TIME reports that they aren’t entirely sure Vonvon has done anything wrong as of yet.

David Hahn, Vonvon’s president, says that all of this info is requested by the “Most Used Words” app due to the wide range of quizzes run by the company. In turn, they hope that people would venture back to the website on a daily basis to take more quizzes.

Most people don’t realize it, but Vonvon is asking for access to all of that personal info at the very beginning. They state it is so they won’t have to keep bothering quiz takers by repeatedly asking them for it every single time they want to take a quiz.

facebook most used words privacy quiz app
Image by Jason Alden/Getty Images

Vonvon is keeping things safe for the time being with the privacy data of Facebook users, but it is concerning a lot of people. The “Most Used Words” quiz has been extremely popular and been shared countless times, and people end up using it without reading everything fully.

That isn’t the fault of Vonvon or anyone else as they have put it out there that they’re requesting access to the private information. Still, it’s freaking some people out.

Jeremy Gillula, a staff technologist for Electronic Frontier Foundation, says Vonvon is being careful.

“They are doing it in the most privacy protective way they could, given the limitations of Facebook’s API. At the same time, people may not realize that they don’t have to do it that way, and it’s entirely possible that they could have done it another way — a less conscientious developer could have done it differently.”

The “Most Used Words” app/quiz is one that is extremely popular and now extremely worrisome for some people on Facebook. Once all is explained about Vonvon and their purposes though, maybe it’s not so bad after all. Now, it just depends on if everyone will pay attention to the warnings and full information on privacy.

[Image via Shutterstock]