Facebook Sign In on iOS Demands Too Much

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Facebook account iOS

The screenshot above is of the advisory popup dialog you get when you’re about to sign in with your Facebook account in the iPad Settings app – to link your Facebook account more seamlessly throughout iOS.

Here’s the big catch though: the dialog above lets you know that signing in will do this:

Download your Facebook friends to the Contacts app and keep their information up to date.

For me, that’s a deal breaker right away. I don’t want all my Facebook friends chucked into my Contacts app. Partly because the last time I recall using some clever app that brought Facebook friends into my address book it made a huge mess – resulting in contacts with wrong phone numbers and similar issues.

Also, there are a lot of my Facebook friends who I really only ever communicate with via Facebook. Old friends who live half a world away for example. For most of them, I don’t know their phone number or sometimes even their email address. I talk to them via Facebook messages or maybe an occasional Skype call. Contacts to me is a place for family, friends, work colleagues, numbers for frequently used services and so forth.

I know this clearly a ‘first world problem’ type complaint and not worth getting knickers in a twist over, but I wish Facebook would make this optional – as Twitter does with a similar sort of feature. Then those who find this useful could go ahead and bring their Facebook friends into Contacts; and people like me could agree to sign in to Facebook – because I can’t at the moment.

Update: My mistake on this on; I didn’t read the fine print properly. As a few people have pointed out in the comments, you can disable the Contacts sync (and Calendar sync) once you sign in – with just a quick tap on toggle buttons. Apologies for my error on this.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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6 thoughts on “Facebook Sign In on iOS Demands Too Much”

  1. Yep, it even says that in the lower half of that pop-up. You’re getting ahead of yourself, Patrick, by jumping all over something without reading the whole thing. I’m surprised.

    I my contacts sync off, but I allow it to access to my contacts because when I add a new contact it nearly instantly grabs their Facebook profile photo, even if I’m not friends with them. Really kind of cool when most of my clients are remote.

  2. My bad – thanks for pointing it out guys. I hadn’t read the fine print properly. Will update the post accordingly.

    1. Ha. I had exactly the same thought. I tried it out quickly and it didn’t seem to add anything / mess anything up in my contacts.

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