Facebook warns developers after privacy leak

October 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Facebook issued a stern warning to independent developers Monday in response to reports that some applications on the site were sharing identifying information about users. 

At the same time, a Facebook engineer said media coverage of the leak has exaggerated how much information can be, and has been, shared with third parties.

“Our policy is very clear about protecting user data, ensuring that no one can access private user information without explicit user consent,” Facebook engineer Mike Vernal said on a blog used by people who develop apps for the site. “Further, developers cannot disclose user information to ad networks and data brokers.

“We take strong measures to enforce this policy, including suspending and disabling applications that violate it.”

A report by The Wall Street Journal found that some of Facebook’s most popular apps, including the game FarmVille by social network game company Zynga, were being used to share users’ personal information with more than 25 advertisers and online tracking companies.

According to the Journal, the apps were sharing the unique “Facebook ID” numbers that are assigned to every user on the site and can be used to look up a person’s name — even if that person has set all of his or her Facebook information to be private.

 

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