This has been going on for over a year, Automatic Facebook Logins for websites. I have absolutely no problem when a website asks me if I want to connect with Facebook or not. But when a website automatically and non-consensually logs me in the comment area via Facebook and knows my middle name…that’s when things start to get creepy. There are some sites that I never logged into a single time, and whenever I am logged into Facebook they already know who I am before I push a single button. One site even had a drop down menu, asking me if I wanted to leave a comment as Tyler Stansfield Jaggers or The Grey Mage. How the heck do they know who The Grey Mage is? My guess is that these websites must have some sort of special contract with Facebook and have access to peoples’ entire Facebook account information, and all they need to do is be logged into Facebook and it counts as an automatic login for their site. I find this to be highly unnerving and it makes me feel like I am being totally monitored on their website and have ZERO anonymity. When I end up on a website that non-consensually logs me into their site via Facebook, I simply don’t return to the site…period.
Lots of websites allow you to connect via Facebook, but they ask you first. Stumbleupon.com and Scribd.com both asked me before I connected via Facebook the first time. And then they saved the cookies for consequent visits. This is perfectly fine and I have no problem with this. But at least there was a single layer of courtesy being given before they got all my info. I’m truly curious how and why a website would go about getting a auto-Facebook login for their 3rd party website. Do they have some sort of special plugin or did they pay for this special treatment from Facebook?
One websites that I’ve noticed is like this. They automatically know who I am. Personally, I was considering leaving a comment on a few videos on one of these types of websites, but I didn’t want to use my freaking real name. I like just being, “Tyler” and then having a link to my website. That’s all I want. I don’t want people to see my latest facebook profile pic. This is especially the case since if you look at the picture above it looks like I don’t even know how to use a forward facing camera (which is actually the case, I’m new to this).
Just 20 seconds ago I ran an experiment with one of these sites. I usually log into Facebook via Mozilla Firefox as my primary browser, so I tried visiting a song and as I expected, I was already logged into the site via facebook as Tyler Stansfield Jaggers. But then I thought about how I rarely use Internet Explorer and I don’t even keep history on that browser. So I loaded up Internet Explorer and I went to the site. When I went to the same video in the comment section it asked me if I wanted to “log in” by using Facebook.
I didn’t press anything.
Instead I opened another tab in Internet Explorer. And in this new tab I loaded up Facebook. Of course I wasn’t logged in so I went ahead and entered my email and password for Facebook and logged in. Then after I saw that my wall and everything was up and running, I went to the other tab with the site. It still said that I wasn’t logged in. Then I pressed “F5″ or “refresh” and reloaded the browser window. And low and behold I was automatically logged into the aforementioned website. What the heck?
So my recommendation for websites and services is to at least give people, THE CHOICE of whether or not they login via Facebook. Or else have an actual login system where people can create an alias like normal. The “convenience” of being automatically and non-consensually logged into a website is a sort of identity violation that can make even a 30 year old man in his Khakis feel uncomfortable.
If I want to see my partially shaven face on your website…I’ll let you know.