Facebook “Incognito” News Reader


Facebook “Incognito” News Reader

UPDATE (1/11/12): The extension is now available at the Chrome webstore!

UPDATE: If you have already used the Yahoo! News app before installing the Chrome extension, to fully enjoy the privacy benefits of the extension, you should unauthorize the Facebook app first by going to Facebook’s Privacy Settings, click “Edit Settings” beside “Apps and Websites”, then remove the app.

With the launch of the revamped Facebook Open Graph, a lot of changes were made in Facebook with the objective to make it “more social”. The Facebook timeline, ticker, new actions and objects (You can now do more than “like” something), to name a few. Most of the new features, however, is only available to developers up to this moment.

One of these new features allowed news applications like Yahoo! News to gain access to the app user’s news viewing history. Although this is one big step in making news more social, something like this may suddenly show up on the news feed of your friend:

Your Facebook friends may see what news you are reading or have read.

And so I present to you, the first browser extension I have written, the Facebook “Incognito” News Reader. It allows you to read the news article you found on your news feed without making your friends see what articles you yourself read and without being forced to allow the FB app to access your private information.

Download the Google Chrome extension, install it, right-click on the news link you want to read, and then click “Read FB News in New Tab” and voila, no need to enter the news app at all, therefore no disclosure of personal information and news reading history.

Note that Chrome does not really enter its incognito mode, hence the use of parentheses.

An alternative to using the extension is setting Yahoo! News’ activity limited or even use the “Only  Me” option. However, Yahoo! itself will still gain access to the news you’re reading, your e-mail address, your birthday, and your likes.

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