NEWS18 October 2010

Another leak: Facebook apps found sharing user IDs

Data analytics North America

US— The list of leaky applications keeps growing. After Android and iPhone apps, now Facebook has admitted that some of the most popular applications on the site have been sharing user IDs (UIDs) with third-party companies.

A Wall Street Journal report named advertisers and “internet tracking companies” as recipients of the data, the sharing of which is against Facebook’s rules.

In a blog post Facebook’s Mike Vernal said: “Knowledge of a UID does not enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent. Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy.

Vernal said: “In most cases, developers did not intend to pass this information, but did so because of the technical details of how browsers work.” News of a fix for the problem is expected in the next few days.

Recently both iPhone apps and Android apps were found to be leaking device data to third-party advertising servers.

In all cases such data could be used for targeted advertising and user analytics purposes.