It seems like Facebook can’t keep itself out of the news when it comes to information security and personal privacy problems. I just read another article in the wall street journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304772804575558484075236968.html which talks to some additional misuse of Facebook member’s information.
It seems that a number of companies are anonymously mining members profile information, creating databases and selling profiles for targeted advertising even when users have set their privacy settings to strict. At least 25 databases and advertising firms may be involved.
Many of the most popular applications are also transferring information about their users to outside companies. Three of the top ten actually transmit information about their user’s friends as well to companies, according to the article.
Facebook does have a “policy” that application developers must not share personal information with advertising companies but with over a half a million applications, some appear to be breaking that policy. Facebook claims to have disabled thousands of applications that have violated its policies.
Social networking has become an important piece of many people’s lives. I actually know people who seem to live on Facebook 24x7. Please have fun with it but remember that ANY information you put into a third party’s hands, even if they have great intentions and tell you that they will keep it safe, is completely out of your control and will be used by someone to make a profit if they can.
Wow, with an outlook like this, its no wonder why no one wants to be my Facebook friend!
Bill Murray leads the IT Risk Security and Compliance team at Westfield Insurance. Sharing Knowledge. Building Trust.