FarmVille Causes Mass Facebook Privacy Breach
If you thought strict privacy settings would allow you to tend your FarmVille crops in peace, think again. All 10 of Facebook’s most popular “apps,” including the ubiquitous farm game, have been caught transmitting vital user information to outside marketers, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal. The applications reveal users’ unique Facebook ID, which can be used to learn a user’s name, even if he has successfully navigated Facebook’s labyrinthine privacy settings. For those less fastidious about Facebook security, the ID can be used to access anything from age, to occupation, to pics from Saturday night. FarmVille (along with two other major applications) has even been caught passing on information about users’ friends. Given that 70 percent of Facebook members use the independently developed apps, the breach affects tens of millions of people. A Facebook spokesperson said that user IDs “may be inadvertently shared by a user’s Internet browser or by an application” and that the company was taking steps to address the problem.
Read original story in The Wall Street Journal | Monday, Oct. 18, 2010