Saturday, October 23, 2010

Facebook apps caught farming individual IDs to sell to make money

Facebook applications break the guidelines to make money from personal info

Supposedly benign Facebook applications have been found to be collecting and transmitting individual user data to online marketing companies. Facebook apps known to be collecting unauthorized individual information from tens of millions of Facebook users include FarmVille, FrontierVille and TX HoldEm Poker. Facebook users were denied access to some of one of the most popular Facebook apps after the business responded by shutting them down until Monday. Article resource – Facebook apps caught harvesting personal IDs to sell for profit by Personal Money Store.

Facebook privacy takes one more hit

Private online habits are targeted by companies that are able to get Facebook apps from tens of millions of Facebook users IDs. At least 25 marketing firms and information processing businesses were able to have access to Facebook user ID numbers because of Facebook apps, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation. The concerns of Facebook privacy and whether or not the company is going to keep information private are growing since, based on the Journal, user Identification and Facebook users and their friends being transmitted is a violation of Facebook rules.

Make cash, concern yourself with profit later

Independent developers write most of the apps on Facebook. When a user puts an application on their profile, Facebook apps get a Facebook ID from the user, based on Ars Technica. Although Facebook privacy settings often deny access to Facebook ID numbers, occasionally the app will take the ID numbers and put them on their own servers. Other apps, including Farmville, transmit personal details about the user’s friends to data tracking businesses. RapLeafInc, developer of Facebook apps for instance LOLapps and Family Tree, had been caught linking Facebook ID numbers with its own database and selling the information to no fewer than a dozen marketing firms.

Apology comes from Facebook application programmers

Friday, Rapleaf apps were all shut down by Facebook. According to Information Week, Facebook pulled a lot of other well-liked games also. Critter Island, Diva Life, Band of Heroes, Yakuza Lord, and Facebook Dante’s inferno and Champions Online were all pulled. There’s a Facebook developer’s blog that explains the incident. It said that collecting the individual info wasn’t intended to occur and only did because the browsers work that way. The data loophole had been closed by Facebook. Then, the apps were able to be accessed by users again. LOLapps decided it had been more important to apologize for users being struggling to access games over the weekend. On the blog, they didn’t apologize for breaking their Facebook privacy.

Data from

Wall Street Journal

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304772804575558484075236968.html

Ars Technica

arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/many-faceook-apps-found-to-be-collecting-selling-user-info.ars

Information Week

informationweek.com/news/smb/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=227900160 and cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All



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