Eikonal Blog

2010.05.22

Facebook leaks users IDs to advertisers

Filed under: FaceBook, privacy — Tags: , — sandokan65 @ 00:53

“Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole” (WSJ.com, 2010.05.21) – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704513104575256701215465596.html


    Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.

    … Most social networks haven’t bothered to obscure user names or ID numbers from their Web addresses, said Craig Wills, a professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who has studied the issue.

    The sites may have been breaching their own privacy policies as well as industry standards, which say sites shouldn’t share and … See Moreadvertisers shouldn’t collect personally identifiable information without users’ permission. Those policies have been put forward by advertising and Internet companies in arguments against the need for government regulation. …

    … For most social-networking sites, the data identified the profile being viewed but not necessarily the person who clicked on the ad or link. But Facebook went further than other sites, in some cases signaling which user name or ID was clicking on the ad as well as the user name or ID of the page being viewed. By seeing what ads a user clicked on, an advertiser could tell something about a user’s interests. …

    …”If you are looking at your profile page and you click on an ad, you are telling that advertiser who you are,”…

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