A recent blog post by Facebook engineer Mike Vernal has warned application developers about sharing the identifying information of users with third parties.
Though Facebook is admitting the privacy issue and is working to resolve it, they have also stated that the media has exaggerated what could possibly be shared about users.
Vernal made his post on a blog that is utilized by developers of apps for Facebook. In it he was very clear about the policies in place regarding the protection of user information. He stressed that developers are not allowed to share that information with ad networks and data brokers. According to his post, those apps that violate the policies can and will be suspended and disabled on the site.
Reports that surfaced in the media have discovered that some of the popular apps on Facebook, including games such as Zynga’s FarmVille, have been sharing user information with more than 25 advertisers and online tracking companies. These games shared a unique user ID number that each person is given. This number allows someone to pull up a person’s Facebook even if the information is private. While the private information can still not be seen, the name and other public information can be gathered to create a profile of the person.
It is not known whether the app developers were aware that they were sharing the information with advertisers.
Facebook stressed that any information that is made private has been kept private. However, they have also stressed their commitment to preventing the sharing of these unique ID numbers.