TMI Syndrome in Web Applications

By design, Web applications are set up to process and present information, generally without the installation of any custom software on the user’s system. All the user needs to view information is a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. With the current generation of Web application technologies (Web 2.0), Web pages no longer are plain vanilla and static but instead are rich user interfaces that are dynamic. Information is no longer merely presented but can now be interacted with per the user’s personal interests.

Herein lies the problem. If presenting the information is not properly protected, Web applications can suffer from TMI Syndrome (TMIS). TMI, an abbreviation for Too Much Information, according to Wikipedia is a slang expression indicating that someone has divulged too much personal information and made the listener uncomfortable. When Web applications suffer from TMI Syndrome, they divulge more information than is necessary, unsolicited or otherwise.

TMIS Types
TMI Syndromes in Web applications can be categorized into two types: passive and active.

Passive TMIS: Web sites with Passive TMI Syndrome are those that divulge more information than is necessary, unsolicited or without any effort. Non-private MySpace and YouTube profile Web pages are a few classic examples of this.

Active TMIS: Web sites with Active TMI Syndrome are those that require additional efforts to glean out information that are meant to be private or protected. Just use your favorite search engine and search for “data breaches in Web sites” for a…


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