Facebook’s privacy settings are a mess—I can never find the tweak I’m looking for. Apparently Facebook isn’t sure what’s in there either.

Head to Settings > Apps right now and you’ll find “Apps Others Use,” an entire section of options that haven’t done anything since 2014. It’s true that at one point Facebook shared your information with apps your friends installed, but Facebook changed that years ago. Kudos to Facebook for getting around that it, I guess, even if such apps never should have had access to that information in the first place.

But today, in 2018, the “Apps Others Use” box is still there, taking up room in your privacy settings. In theory you could use this to control what information apps your friends use have access to, but again: it’s been for years since apps had that access at all. Four years!

Here’s Brian Barrett, writing for Wired:

…the fact that Facebook never bothered to update that critical corner of its privacy settings, years after those changes went into effect, is downright baffling—and speaks to a general a lack of seriousness in the company’s attitude toward data transparency.

I couldn’t agree more. Facebook is constantly A/B testing and optimizing everything about their service. How is it possible that an entire section of useless preferences sat unchanged for four years, assuming Facebook is paying any attention to privacy at all?

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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