NASE Blogs

Facebook Privacy Concerns

Oct 18, 2010

Posted by Kristin Oberlander - It's hard to find a person or organization who doesn't use Facebook, but the social media site has faced numerous inquiries about its privacy policies and about just how effective it is in protecting personal information.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about how top apps on Facebook have created a new privacy snag. Here are some highlights from the article, in no particular order:

  • "The apps, ranked by research company Inside Network Inc. (based on monthly users), include Zynga Game Network Inc.'s FarmVille, with 59 million users, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. Three of the top 10 apps, including FarmVille, also have been transmitting personal information about a user's friends to outside companies."
  • "Facebook also appeared to have shut down some applications the Journal found to be transmitting user IDs, including several created by LOLapps Media Inc., a San Francisco company backed with $4 million in venture capital. LOLapp's applications include Gift Creator, with 3.5 million monthly active users, Quiz Creator, with 1.4 million monthly active users, Colorful Butterflies and Best Friends Gifts."
  • "Most apps aren't made by Facebook, but by independent software developers. Several apps became unavailable to Facebook users after the Journal informed Facebook that the apps were transmitting personal information; the specific reason for their unavailability remains unclear."
  • "The apps reviewed by the Journal 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."