Privacy breach though apps: This is why I never download apps on Facebook

by Knowlton Thomas

zyngaI don't play FarmVille. Or FrontierVille. I don't play any games on Facebook. In fact, I don't use any apps on Facebook at all.

I'm glad I don't, because the WSJ reported recently that even with the strictest privacy settings possible on Facebook, many applications still pass on personal information to advertisers and other mysterious third parties.

A Facebook spokesman told WSJ this weekend that the social network is working to "dramatically limit" the leaking of users' personal information - but haven't we heard this tale before?

The report says that guilty apps, which are in abundance, snatch up a user's unique ID number, then pass them on to internet advertising companies. The report states that every single one of the 10 most-popular apps did this. And three of the top 10, including Zynga's FarmVille game, went a step further: they transmitted personal information about the user's friends to third party companies, unknown to app users. The Wall Street Journal stated that these apps were sending Facebook IDs to more than 25 advertising and data firms.

Use Facebook if you must, but never trust it. These are today's privacy concerns - forget not that where were many more before these, and rest assured that there will be many more to come.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more

San Francisco, California, United States

Zynga is the world’s largest social game developer. More than 215 million monthly active users play its games. Zynga’s games include FarmVille, Treasure Isle, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Café World, FishVille, PetVille and FrontierVille. Zynga games are available on Facebook, MySpace and the iPhone. Through, Zynga players have raised more than $3 million for world social causes.... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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