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Facebook clarifies policy on user IDs, vows 'zero tolerance for data brokers'

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
November 1, 2010
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Facebook promised that it would address the issue of developers unknowingly dishing out Facebook user IDs to third parties, and it's now finally laid out it's full response to the problem. That includes both a technical solution to the way UIDs can be "inadvertently" shared in the browser (to be released to developers early next week), as well as what Facebook describes as a clarification of it's policy on the use of UIDs and other private data received from Facebook. On that latter point, Facebook's Mike Vernal says that while the company's policy "has always stated that data received from Facebook, including UIDs, cannot be shared with data brokers and ad networks," moving forward it will state that "UIDs cannot leave your application or any of the infrastructure, code, and services you need to build and run your application." Facebook also says that it's requiring all ad networks to delete any Facebook UIDs immediately "regardless of how they were obtained," and it insists that it will enforce a "zero tolerance policy for data brokers." On that last front, Facebook notes that it has worked out a deal with data broker Rapleaf, which has agreed to delete all UIDs in its possession and not conduct activities on the Facebook platform in the future, and it's dealt out a six-month suspension to a handful of small developers found to be selling UIDs. Hit up the source link below for the company's complete statement.

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