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The Rise of Social Logins and Privacy Concerns

The Rise of Social Logins and Privacy Concerns

Discover what exactly the potential ramifications are when you input your details for online logins.

6th November 2015
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Social logins have seen a surge in the past quarter, with over 90% of internet users in the US using social login at least once this year, up from 53% last year. Using a social login may not seem immediately attractive in light of privacy concerns – you would not want the new calendar app gaining access to pictures of you drunk at Grandma’s 80th birthday on Facebook.

What happens when you login with Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc?

The dialog box that prompts you to login with a social media site is provided for by Facebook and Google respectively, not the website itself. Facebook, for instance, provides over 30 permissions that the software owner can request from the user, and the user can choose to provide.

The most common permissions that you will be granting are access to your name and contact details. It is important to take note of the information that the app/site is looking to access. In most instances, you will be able to manage permissions of the apps or sites you have given access through your social media account.

Hedging your bets with Facebook or Google.

Google was recently ranked at the top of the data privacy index amongst other tech behemoths, and Facebook a couple of spots down. When you login with a social login, you are leveraging the privacy and data protection that these companies employ. While the track record of large tech companies in relation to privacy hasn’t been exceptional, it is assuring that they are confident enough with their security measures to offer such a feature.

One of the main concerns is the risk of having access to all your accounts in the one place. It is interesting to consider, however, how access to all your accounts is almost already in once place.

Password managers

Password management software like 1Password and LastPass, which was acquired by LogMeIn for US$110 million last month, have gained a loyal following for giving users the ability to store and manage all their passwords on the one platform, accessible from your computer or mobile. It is locked by a master password of your own choosing, which is generally identifiable seeing that you need it to access all the other passwords.

1Password addressed an issue with encryption very recently after Dale Myers, a software engineer at Microsoft, uncovered that the software ‘leaks’ its users’ metadata, including which bank accounts and websites are accessed.

Email reset

Many websites offer the opportunity to reset your password, and often through a link to sent to your email. If a malicious character gets access to your email, he/she can essentially gain access to your accounts by resetting your passwords.

Bonus: Facebook just returned an astonishing company earnings report. Here are the 3 biggest numbers as highlighted by Time.

If you are running your own website, you will need an updated Privacy Policy to stay compliant with Australian Privacy Law. You can start customising one right now!

Feel free to contact us at 1800 LAWPATH and/or [email protected] if you have any questions.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.