Before you can test drive RockMelt, you need to give it access to a long list of Facebook permissions. Why does RockMelt need all these permissions and what exactly does it do with them?
The short answer is that RockMelt needs these permissions so it can act on your behalf to do in RockMelt many of the things you would otherwise do on facebook.com. RockMelt does NOT use these permissions to steal your information, spam you or your friends, or post anything without you explicitly telling it to.
Privacy and Trust
Your privacy and trust are very important to us. Our goal is to give you a much better online experience, and we know that we can only do that if you trust us. Without your trust, you would never use RockMelt and neither would anybody else.
That’s why we work hard to continue to earn your trust. RockMelt does not track your website or search history, spam you or your friends, use your data for advertising, or share your data with anyone. If you ever have any questions about anything related to privacy, please contact us at privacy-at-rockmelt.com.
RockMelt and Facebook Permissions
Any time you sign up to use a new Facebook application (like RockMelt), you are presented with a list of permissions the application requires to work. The permissions are broken down into different buckets so you get a better idea what the application will be able to do and also so you don’t give the application more access to your data than it needs. The more an application does, the more permissions it needs, and the longer list you’ll be presented with.
That’s why the permissions list for RockMelt is longer. RockMelt lets you share links, chat with friends and write on their walls, see your Facebook Newsfeed, and do many of the same things you can do on Facebook.com.
As some of you have pointed out, the wording on the Facebook permission list can be a little confusing. This is because the permissions language is written primarily for web applications that access your data while you’re doing something else – like playing a game – and not desktop applications like browsers. With rare exceptions, RockMelt accesses your data only when you explicitly tell it to (more on this later). Because of this, it may be easier to understand the permission RockMelt is asking for by adding a “Use RockMelt to…” in front of the actual wording.
For example, the “Post to my Wall” permission RockMelt asks for is better understood by thinking of it as a request to “Use RockMelt to post to my Wall.”
One more point: It’s important to understand that your Facebook privacy settings are always in place. While RockMelt requests permission to access your Facebook information, RockMelt never lets anyone see information they were not already able to see on facebook.com. If you only share certain pieces of information with certain people, prevent certain friends or applications from seeing your newsfeed or photos, or have any other custom privacy filters, they will all be carried into RockMelt. The information we request is solely for the purpose of giving you a better Facebook experience. It does not change what anyone else can see about you.
Breakdown of RockMelt’s Facebook Permissions
You’ll notice that some of the permissions below give examples of information that may be requested in parentheses. Just because it’s listed does not mean RockMelt requests every item: Facebook tends to “bucket” requests and list out all the potential examples. In the explanation under each permission and where we think there might be confusion, we’ve tried to point out the pieces of information RockMelt uses.
Without further ado, here are the explanations for RockMelt’s Facebook permissions:
• Access my basic information (Includes name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends, and any other information I’ve shared with everyone)
This permission allows RockMelt to access your photo, name, and list of friends, which are used to populate the Friend Edge with your friends and add your profile picture to the upper left corner of the browser.
• Send me email (RockMelt may email me directly at [email@example.com])
This permission is so RockMelt can communicate urgent news or updates to you quickly and easily. We’re a browser, not an email marketing company, and we promise to never spam you or share your info with others!
• Post to my Wall (RockMelt may post status messages, notes, photos, and videos to my Wall)
This permission is needed to allow you to post status updates on your own wall through RockMelt’s sharing features (which is why you might see the “via RockMelt” under Facebook status updates).
RockMelt will never automatically post new status updates without you doing so yourself using RockMelt’s Share button and sharing features. As mentioned before, this permission may be better understood as a “Use RockMelt to post to my Wall” permission.
• Access posts in my News Feed
RockMelt uses this permission to add your Facebook News Feed into RockMelt directly so you can see your News Feed without going to Facebook.com – saving you time and clicks.
• Access my data any time (RockMelt may access my data when I’m not using the application)
This permission allows RockMelt to get your feed in the background, so it can show you up-to-date information as soon as you login to RockMelt.
• Access Facebook Chat
The “Access Facebook Chat” permission allows you to chat with your friends from the RockMelt Friend Edge. Your friends are available to chat wherever you go online.
• Access my custom friend lists
RockMelt uses custom friend lists inside the Facebook App in the App Edge so you can see and filter friend updates by the lists you’ve created.
• Access my profile information (Likes, Music, TV, Movies, Books, Quotes, Groups, Notes, Birthday, Current City and Facebook Status)
This permission lets RockMelt include your Facebook status updates and “likes” into the RockMelt browser directly. We’re also thinking of ways to add in other features – such as notes and more – later!
• Access my contact information (Online Presence)
This permission lets us use your “Online Presence” as part of the RockMelt chat feature so you can set your chat status and let your friends see when you are online (just like on facebook.com)
• Access my photos and videos (Photos Uploaded by Me and Photos and Videos of Me)
Access to your photos and videos are needed so that we can let you see your own photos in the RockMelt Facebook Me App in the App Edge.
• Access my friends’ information (Birthdays, Likes, Music, TV, Movies, Books, Quotes, Online Presence, Notes, Photos, Videos, Photos and Videos of Them and Facebook Statuses)
This permission lets you see your friends’ photos, status updates, “likes” and more right inside RockMelt so you don’t have to go to facebook.com every time. Instead, just click on your friends’ profile icons on the Friend Edge sidebar or click on the Facebook News Feed App. This permission also lets you see your friends’ photos before you invite them to RockMelt.
Thanks for reading and please let us know if you have any questions or feedback by emailing feedback-at-rockmelt.com.