Applications in Facebook Could Be Trading Your Info

A recent Wallstreet Journal revealed that Facebook could be sharing users’ data with third party companies. This means the personal information you have in your profile could be shared with marketing and internet tracking companies without your knowledge. Despite Facebook’s assurance that its users’ privacy of information is protected, it now appears that the online social networking giant is in its own violation of the same rules.

The journal reported that the information is tapped through several Facebook applications and then given to data firms and advertising companies. Some of the information given includes names and user IDs which can possibly be used to track other details concerning the user. The report found that up to 10 most popularly used applications were trading users’ info.

Among those mentioned include the Zynga’s Farmville. Rapleaf, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in data gathering was one of the companies that allegedly obtained data from Facebook applications, and fed it into their online databases. The company lets its users to find people’s names, age and social status using their emails. Although Rapleaf did not comment on the allegations, the company said that if it did, then it was not deliberate.

A representative from Facebook made a statement to CNET, an online leading technology news magazine, and said that more efforts will be made to ensure that the integrity of the users’ information is safeguarded. He said that Facebook as it has always been known for will continue enforcing privacy policy while allowing users to have control of their information.

Breach of privacy regulations has severally dogged Facebook; something that made the organization introduces some controls to enable users choose what to share online and what not to. The groups feature was revamped and a profile downloading tool was introduced. It also became possible for Facebook users to choose which third-party applications to accept. Applications that you are connected to are easily visible in the dashboard panel with their corresponding permission status.

Although Facebook boasts dominance in online social networking arena, it has to treat these allegations profoundly. Else, it risks losing a user base which supports its revenue stream through sponsors’ ads publishing. No user wants to have his or her info traded without permission. Essentially, this is not just a matter of abiding to its own rules but also adherence to public ethics.

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Posted by on Oct 20 2010. Filed under New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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