The "app economy", which includes Facebook as well as smartphone apps, is estimated to have generated $US20 billion in revenue in 2011 by selling downloads, advertising, "virtual goods" and other products, according to estimates from Rubinson Partners, a market researcher.
Apps are required to ask people's permission to access their Facebook data.
But the way they ask plays on a fundamental human tendency - namely, that people who see frequent warnings come to disregard them.
Science has a word for this: habituation. Habituation occurs when people become accustomed to simply pressing the "yes" button when faced with an alert or warning.
"If people see a warning a lot, but then nothing bad happens in the average case, it decreases the alarm level" and people won't pay attention even when they need to, said Adrienne Porter Felt, a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied requests for personal data by apps on smartphones.
A case in point came just this past week, in a scandal involving an iPhone app called "Girls Around Me".
The app used publicly available information from Foursquare, a location-based social network, to enable men to locate nearby women on a map and view the personal data and photos from their Facebook profiles.
Read more about privacy and the app economy in these tech articles:
Friday, May 17 2013 10:19 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:19:19 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Several roads off Dixie Highway are shut down due to a police situation. According to MetroSafe, around 4:30 p.m. Friday Shively police were dispatched to a home in the 2900 blockMore >>
According to MetroSafe, around 4:30 p.m. Friday Shively police were dispatched to a home in the 2900 block of Dixie Highway.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:10 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:10:15 GMT
LAUREL COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – A woman allegedly went to extreme lengths to let out her neighbor's dogs. According to Laurel Sheriff's Senior Sgt Greg Poynter, at 4:50 p.m. Friday deputies received a callMore >>
According to Laurel Sheriff's Senior Sgt Greg Poynter, at 4:50 p.m. Friday deputies received a call a woman had broken into a home on Chaney Ridge Road.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 10:21 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:21:45 GMT
NEW ALBANY, IN – New Albany police said Friday that a mother found dead along with her two young children in a creek in Binford Park in March drowned her two young children and then herself. New AlbanyMore >>
Investigators said Jaime Clutter, 35, suffered from mental illness -- possibly psychosis and postpartum depression -- when she walked her children to Binford Park March 13 and drowned them. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:20:36 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The coroner has identified the woman shot and killed in the 3300 block of FernHeather Drive as 48-year-old Gloria Ross. Ross was pronounced dead at 9:39 p.m. Thursday. AccordingMore >>
According to the Jefferson County coroner's office, Gloria Ross, 48, was pronounced dead at 9:39 p.m. Thursday after suffering multiple gunshot wounds in the 3300 block of FernHeather Drive.More >>