Sunday, October 17, 2010

Do you facebook? Think your info is private? Think again.

Facebook recently learned that several applications were passing a piece of data known as a user ID to outside companies in a way that violated its privacy policy. User IDs are unique numbers assigned to Facebook members that are used by Facebook and its applications to identify them. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that that it had found that several Facebook applications were "providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names" to advertisers and Internet tracking companies. The report said that all 10 of the most popular applications on Facebook, including games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, were transmitting user IDs to third parties. Three of those applications were also transmitting information about a user's friends. This is not the first time Facebook has been hit with privacy concerns. In May, after a series of complaints from some users and privacy advocates, the companymade wholesale changes to it's privacy settings. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized to users saying that some of the site's privacy settings had become too complicated for the average user to understand. Despite the changes, the privacy issue has continued to dog Facebook. You might want to rethink having a facebook account until the privacy issues are solved by facebook's engineers.

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