Telstra has unveiled a trial Facebook app that will allow its customers to view their monthly spending and see whether they're up to date with their bill payments through the social network site, but the telco has warned users to ensure their Facebook account is secure first.
The new service, called Telstra 24x7, is open to the first 1000 Telstra customers to like the Telstra 24x7 page and allow the Telstra app access to their Facebook account.
Once logged in using their MyAccount details, customers will be able to check whether their bills have been paid, how much they've spent this month, how much data they have used, and what their account and mobile number is. Customers also have the ability to customise the app using the various colours Telstra has begun using since its brand revamp last year, and will be able to use the telco's Live Chat customer service through the app.
Financial transactions are not part of the service and will still need to be completed through Telstra's online portal.
Yet, once logged into the app, the customer will not need to log in again. This means that if a customer's Facebook account is compromised, all the information in the app would also be available to the hacker who compromised the account. If a customer has their date of birth on their Facebook profile, in conjunction with the information found on the Telstra app, it would be possible to call Telstra and pose as the customer.
"Once you have enabled My Telstra on Facebook, people with access to your Facebook account will be able to access information about your Telstra services," it said.
Telstra said that ultimately the app was voluntary and in a trial phase. Once the trial is completed, it said it would review feedback and incorporate this into future versions of the app.
Stephen Wilson, managing director of digital identity consultant company Lockstep, told ZDNet Australia that businesses should be wary about putting information into a Facebook app.
"I personally wouldn't put any serious business stuff in a Facebook app," he said. "Facebook's business model is all about exploiting personal information."
Wilson said it was important to examine Facebook's privacy and data usage policy prior to adding the Telstra Facebook app.
The trial will run until June, when Telstra plans to launch a final release of the app for all customers.