Apps Caught Leaking Facebook User Data to Third-Parties
This breach of user privacy is obviously a cause for concern, but perhaps most importantly, it raises questions about Facebook's ability to police its own platform. This sharing of identifiable data is a blatant violation of the site's terms of service. That three of the ten most popular apps were also mining data about users' friends shows that even seemingly trustworthy apps do not take the rules regarding Facebook data seriously.
A spokesperson for Facebook told the Wall Street Journal that the social networking site would be implementing new technologies to safeguard user data, and suspended several apps found to be leaking user data. Some companies, including Rapleaf (one of the third parties receiving user data), claimed that they were not violating Facebook rules, and that Facebook ID numbers were included accidentally.
Mark Zuckerberg and crew appear to be taking this latest privacy debacle seriously enough, but the damage has already been done. With tens of millions of accounts compromised and dozens of third parties currently in possession of their Facebook account info it's time to reevaluate how private your data really is. We've shown you how to protect yourself from apps and your friends before, and Valleywag has a good guide for blocking applications, and thus third-parties, from accessing your data.
If you want to turn off certain applications that were singled out, including 'FarmVille,' 'FrontierVille,' 'Texas HoldEm Poker,' 'Gift Creator,' 'Quiz Creator,' and 'Familybuilder's Family Tree,' you can click the icon next to "remove unwanted or spammy applications" (also on the "Applications, games and websites" settings page). You'll be presented with a list of your installed apps, and clicking the "x" next to them will ask you to confirm that you want to delete it. If you don't want to take any chances, click 'turn of all platform applications,' which you can find just underneath the "remove unwanted apps" entry. Clicking on that link will open a dialog window, where you'll need to click "select all" at the bottom then click "turn off platform." Though if you're going to turn off all apps, you might as well consider deleting your account entirely.
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