More Facebook privacy leaks
October 18, 2010 - 2:35 pm
Another week, another set of stories about users’ personal information being shared willy nilly through Facebook. When will it end? Or, when will Mark Zuckerberg and company figure out that coming clean with their half-billion users is the way to deal with news reports involving your service?
This time, the security breaches stem from third-party applications sharing user information with advertisers without user permission. Simply put, users said "no," but the makers of games like FarmVille and others said "yes" to sharing customer data.
Read the story from The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook in privacy breach; applications transmitting identifying information
This unsanctioned data sharing is a big no-no. It’s also news that should be splashed across the top of every Facebook user’s home page.
I tried to find communication from the Facebook brass about the privacy-breach story that broke over the weekend. Zilch.
I clicked into the “privacy settings” link under my “account” link. Zippo.
I went the Facebook home page on Facebook itself (http://www.facebook.com/facebook). What was the top item? A post about a TRUSTe survey that says "the majority of parents and teens understand how to protect their privacy and think their controls on Facebook are easy to use."
Geez, I wondered, which Facebook are they using?
Nearly 23 million Facebook users have clicked the "like" button on the Facebook page, just as I did.
I missed the company’s post about the security breach, so I’m guessing others did, too.
The second item on the Facebook page addressed the latest security breach — sort of. There was no mention in the visible update about third-party companies compromising information.
Here’s what I saw:
"Our Developer blog post explains the steps we take to protect people’s private user data.
Using Facebook UIDs
We take user privacy seriously. We are dedicated to protecting private user data while letting users enjoy rich experiences with their friends. This more social Web will only occur if users trust that they are in control of their information."
It’s time for Facebook to get its head out of the sand and stand up for its users. Facebook needs to make updating privacy settings as simple as possible. And, most importantly, it needs to tell users about all security breaches and how the company will fix them.