Facebook apps provide info for ads

2010-10-18 20:04

Washington - Many popular applications on Facebook are violating the social network's rules and transmitting identifying information about users to advertising and internet tracking companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper said it conducted an investigation and found that the issue affects tens of millions of Facebook application users, including people who set their profiles to be completely private.

It said the practice breaks Facebook's rules and renews questions about its ability to keep secure identifiable information about the activities of its members.

The Journal said applications were providing access to Facebook members' names and, in some cases, their friends' names, to companies that build detailed databases on people in order to track them online.

All of the 10 most popular applications on Facebook were transmitting unique user ID numbers to outside companies, it said. They include Zynga's FarmVille, with 59 million users, Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille.

The Journal said several applications became unavailable to Facebook users after the newspaper informed the Palo Alto, California social network company that they were transmitting personal information.

"We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms," a Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook told the Journal it is taking steps to "dramatically limit" the exposure of users' personal information.

"Our technical systems have always been complemented by strong policy enforcement, and we will continue to rely on both to keep people in control of their information," a Facebook official said.

The Journal said the applications it reviewed were sending Facebook ID numbers to at least 25 advertising and data firms, several of which build profiles of internet users by tracking their online activities.

Facebook specifically prohibits applications makers from transferring data about users to outside advertising and data companies, even if a user agrees.

Facebook is the world's most popular social network with around 500 million users, but it has been dogged by complaints about privacy protection.

Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, told reporters at a forum in Dubai on Sunday that privacy was the company's top concern and it would continue to give people more controls.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    facebook  |  us  |  online privacy  |  social networks

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.