WSJ – Facebook sharing IDs with Apps

Back in December I posted about Facebook’s weak attempt to prevent third party applications like Farmville and other online games from sharing personal information.  Here is what I wrote then:

“Blocked Applications

You have blocked the following applications. This means they cannot access any information about you or contact you. They may still appear on your friends’ profiles. This option is available from the Requests page. If you want to remove the block for any of these applications, click remove.”

What does “they” mean?  That the application I blocked will still be associated with me on my friends page?  Doesn’t that mean that this information is still publicly available?”

Walls Street Journal Uncovers Similar Problem Today:

“Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.”

Breach Risk?

The companies who receive this “identifying information” claim that they don’t store or share this information with third parties.  Even if that’s  true, how easy is it for data mining companies to gather this information independently?  Can Facebook guarantee that it’s transmitting this information in a completey secure fashion?

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