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WSJ: Facebook apps and games are dishing out your user ID to unauthorized third parties

Vlad Savov
October 18, 2010
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So you thought tweaking your privacy settings could actually keep you private on Facebook? The Wall Street Journal has some sobering news for you and everyone else playing Farmville on the 'book: your favorite apps are transmitting your user ID to advertisers and other third parties, and there's pretty much nothing you can do about it. According to the WSJ, even users who set their privacy sliders to the most hermit-like setting are exposed to having their unique Facebook identifier served up to data collection and advertising agencies, who in turn have been connecting that ID with your name (and anything else you've set to "share with everyone" on your profile) and snowballing it into their archive on your habits and tastes. Even more unsettling, three of the top 10 most used apps, including Farmville, have been found to have dished out the IDs of their users' friends. For its part, the company that Mark Z built says it's "committed to addressing" the issue and a number of the offending apps have been noted as becoming unavailable following the WSJ report. Farmville is of course not among them, it'd be madness to ever yank that cash cow, but whatever happens, you should have already got the message: the internet and privacy don't mix well.

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