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Facebook introduces anonymous logins for apps

Facebook constantly faces accusations of riding roughshod over user privacy rights in its quest to generate revenue, but at the F8 conference yesterday, the social network took a step towards placating critics with the introduction of anonymous app logins.

From now on, you'll be able to try out third-party apps without logging in via your Facebook account, and giving those developers access to any of your personal data. There'll be a "Log in with Facebook" button as normal with third-party apps, but also a "Log in Anonymously" button for those who prefer to stay under the radar.

Users will also be given control over what data a third-party app can hoover up – so you can decide whether you want to share specific details such as your email address, birthday, friends, your "likes" and so forth. The one required share is your public profile details, though (name, gender, etc).

In a statement from the F8 conference, Facebook said: "We've heard from people that they are worried about sharing information with apps, and they want more control over their data. We are giving people more control over these experiences so they can be confident pressing the blue [Log in with Facebook] button."

It's important to realise, as TechCrunch notes, that when you log in anonymously to an app, you might not be giving away any data to that app's developer, but Facebook itself will still be grabbing data on your usage and employing that in the usual monetisation techniques.

Even so, this is certainly a welcome move.