Our friends at Joystiq
have turned us on to a Wall Street Journal
article that concludes your privacy is at risk if you play Facebook
games. The Journal discovered that each of the top 10 Facebook applications transmits user IDs, which may be shared with unauthorized third parties.
We know, it's not exactly new or shocking information, but continued user ignorance -- or apathy -- regarding online habits is a troubling trend that bears examining. WSJ authors Emily Steel and Geoffrey A. Fowler did just that and turned up all manner up interesting findings including a data-mining firm called RapLeaf Inc
. that linked Facebook user IDs to its database of internet users. RapLeaf didn't stop there, as it then transmitted the user IDs to a dozen other firms, an express violation of Facebook policy.
Though RapLeaf vice president of business development Joel Jewitt said "we didn't do it on purpose
," Facebook is nonetheless trotting out the damage control PR. "We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms
," said a company spokeman.