News / Utah / 
Facebook apps transmit users' personal information

Facebook apps transmit users' personal information

By Becky Bruce | Posted - Oct. 18, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Ten popular Facebook applications have been transmitting users' personal identifying information to advertising and Internet tracking companies.

The Wall Street Journal reports the breach also includes users who set all their information to be completely private. And in some cases, the apps provided access to friends' names.

A Facebook spokesman told the Journal on Sunday that the company would introduce new technology to contain the breach. It's not clear how long the breach went on.

The paper says Facebook also has taken immediate action to disable all applications that violated their terms.

"Apps" are software that let users of networks like Facebook share common activities including games. The Journal found all 10 of the most popular apps on the site, including Zynga's Farmville, with 59 million users, were transmitting personal information.

Most apps are made by independent software companies, not by Facebook.

According to the paper, the information being transmitted is the unique "Facebook ID" number assigned to each user on the site. Using that number, anyone can do an Internet search and get around a person's privacy settings to find out more information about them.

E-mail: bbruce@ksl.com

Becky Bruce

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast