I wanted to try Vorp not recently, a browser shooter that I heard good things about. Unfortunately, the first thing that the game asked me was to log in with Facebook. No option to play anonymously, use a different authenticator or even their own: Facebook. That’s all. Oh and of course, they asked for permission to access my contacts and all that.
I’m sure Vorp’s intentions are honorable but there is a big difference between willing to support indie games and handing them full access to my contacts without the slightest hint of what they are going to do with this information.
Obviously, there are plenty of web sites following this model, and even when they give me the choice to authenticate through Twitter or Google, I still reserve the right to draw the line about the amount of private information I’m willing to disclose. And when I’m just trying out a new service, my full name and my email address is basically the extent of what I’m comfortable to share.
So I did something I have been meaning to do for a very long time: create an empty Facebook account. With Google Voice providing me a one time SMS number, it took me five minutes to create my empty Facebook persona, which I’m now happy to pass around to any service that wants it. I’ve already used a few times and pressing the “Log in with Facebook” button has never felt so great.
Amusingly, Facebook took pity on me, and a few days after I created my empty account, I found the following in my inbox:
Thanks, Facebook, but I got that.