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 Friday, 05 November 2010

Facebook admitted late last week that some developers have sold user IDs (UIDs) to data brokers. The popular social-networking site said it has taken steps to prevent this in the future, including a six-month suspension of some developers. In a post Friday on the company's Developer Blog, Facebook's Mike Vernal said the company has "discovered some instances where a data broker was paying developers for UIDs." He noted that the developers were less than a dozen, mostly small developers, and that none of the apps were in the top 10 on the platform. He also noted that some sharing of UIDs happened "inadvertently" due to "an issue with the way that web browsers work." He added that no evidence was found that this "sharing" resulted in the collection of private user information. With a user ID, a user's public information, including name, can be found. The Journal found that at least one data broker, RapLeaf, had correlated the user IDs with its own database of Net users, and had shared the Facebook IDs with other firms.

This kind of data correlation can help to create a user behavioral profile. RapLeaf said the sharing wasn't intentional, and has agreed to remove all the UIDs it has. The company is no longer allowed to conduct activities on the Facebook platform.


(Source: News Factor Network)

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