I spend a lot of time talking complaining about Facebook, and warning people about Facebook’s less-than-ethical privacy changes over the past year. While turning off the API altogether probably isn’t for everyone, it is possible.

[box type=”error”]Turning off the API is no longer an option in Facebook. This post is being kept for historial reasons, but the information in this article is now out of date. [/box]

Every time Facebook does something else awful with their privacy settings, I get all fired up and want to write a blog post (or six) about it, but the sheer magnitude of problems is so overwhelming, it makes me physically exhausted just thinking about breaking them down one by one.

That’s not what I’m trying to do in this post.

There is an option in your Facebook privacy settings that I don’t remember seeing before. I don’t know when it was added, or if it’s been there forever and I just somehow didn’t notice it, but if you want more of your privacy but like the ability to stay in touch with friends on Facebook, you can turn off API access altogether.

That means that games, quizzes and other applications will no longer have access to your profile. That does not mean that any data you may have already shared with applications previously will be deleted from the original application developer’s databases, but its a start.

If you turn off platform, you’ll be disconnected from all applications and websites. That means friends won’t be able to use applications to interact with you, and information and settings you’ve saved may be permanently deleted.

To turn off the API, go to your privacy settings, and then click on Applications and Websites:

Turning off API access will disconnect you from ALL previously allowed applications and websites, and may actually delete settings, so you should review all of the applications listed to make sure there really are none you don’t want to keep. If there are, a better bet will be to take the time to go through all of the apps you’ve authorized and remove or block one by one.

Also keep in mind that if you’re a Facebook developer, meaning you create apps or pages for yourself or for clients, you DO NOT WANT to turn this off. You run the risk of biffing all of your hard work. I haven’t tried it on a developer account, but there’s a good chance you would lose the ability to access your pages and apps, and those pages and apps might stop working altogether. You’ve been warned.

Photo credit: Blogosem

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I’m a tech geek/dev/infosec-nerd/scuba diver/blacksmith/sword-fighter/crime fighter/ENTP/warcrafter/activist. I'm the CTO at Mass Mosaic and the CEO of Grokability, Inc. in San Diego, CA. Tweet at me @snipeyhead or read more...

  • hahaha.. Good. but almost 90% people who are in facebook prefer apps. and others are gaining with it.. very few tend not to use it. wat say?

  • I think the facebook apps are stupid and annoying.