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Facebook has not only been sharing the visited page ID of the ad-click, but the vistor's ID as well. This can be used to reveal private info. The companies receiving this info -- Google and Yahoo -- claim that they haven't used it.  (Source: Typhon Vision)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists that customers don't value privacy anymore. Now his company is changing their tune.
Google and Yahoo claim they never realized Facebook and MySpace was giving them hoards of user data

MySpace and Facebook have both found themselves in trouble of late, with customers complaining about the revelation that the companies were sharing private information with advertisers, despite promises that user information would not be shared in the Terms of Service. 

Facebook was perhaps the worst offender with this.  Its CEO has insisted at times that customers don't really care about privacy.  And it has rolled out multiple changes to it page to try to get customers to mistakenly unveil more info.

Finally after much criticism, MySpace and Facebook have vowed at last to make changes to make sure that advertisers don't get the profile link that the click was received from (anonymizing it). 
The Wall Street Journal indicates that its reports on the subject finally spurred the popular social networks to action.

It was shown that advertisers could use the provided link to find private details like name, age, relationship status, hometown and occupation from a person's account.  Google Inc.'s DoubleClick and Yahoo Inc.'s Right Media were among the companies that 
received dumps of the links' private data, but they claim they didn't even know about it and never used it.

The industry advertising standard (set largely by Google) is that it is forbidden to collect personally identifiable information without users' permission.  Facebook and MySpace have been known to tread the line on privacy issues, but in this case the revelation of their mischief was too embarrassing for them to not take action.

Among the other companies that revealed links to personal profiles were LiveJournal, Hi5, Xanga and Digg.  Twitter also revealed links, but only when advertisers clicked on certain links on the profile page (as normal user profile pages do not bear ads -- yet).  However, these links would provide info on the profile being viewed, not the person themself.

Facebook went the farthest though, providing the ID of both the visitor and the visited profile.  Facebook says that it has since fixed the offending code.

States a Facebook spokesman, "We were recently made aware of one case where if a user takes a specific route on the site, advertisers may see that they clicked on their own profile and then clicked on an ad.  We fixed this case as soon as we heard about it."

Unlike Facebook, MySpace does not demand user's real names.  It is only sharing the ID of users, which will only reveal the info they choose to share on their page.  Nonetheless, in response to concerns, MySpace is making changes as well.  States a spokesperson, "[We are] currently implementing a methodology that will obfuscate the 'FriendID' in any URL that is passed along to advertisers."

In a statement Google wrote, "Google doesn't seek in any way to make any use of any user names or IDs that their URLs may contain."

And Yahoo's head of privacy Anne Toth similarly stated, "We prohibit clients from sending personally identifiably information to us.  We have told them. 'We don't want it. You shouldn't be sending it to us. If it happens to be there, we are not looking for it."

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So now we're supposed to trust Mark Zuckerberg?
By iFX on 5/21/2010 9:41:32 AM , Rating: 5
Didn't he already tell us we had to expectation of privacy anymore and that it was an archaic idea?

No, Mark, I don't believe you.

RE: So now we're supposed to trust Mark Zuckerberg?
By iFX on 5/21/2010 9:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
Correction: to = no

By sebmel on 5/21/2010 5:42:49 PM , Rating: 3
Mark Zuckerburg is a guy who stole the idea for Facebook and then tried not to pay for it when sued (... he lost). Why does his lack of respect for users not surprise me?

By vapore0n on 5/21/2010 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
someone needs to smack that smile off his face

By NuclearDelta on 5/21/2010 10:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
Let's check his facebook to find out where he lives.

By chagrinnin on 5/21/2010 1:16:55 PM , Rating: 3
Quote from his facebook page:

Mark Zuckerberg: "I set some of my content to be more private,..."

I bet someone had to show him how to do that. :P

RE: So now we're supposed to trust Mark Zuckerberg?
By HateU on 5/21/10, Rating: -1
By sh3rules on 5/21/2010 5:13:14 PM , Rating: 1
I worry about the current antipathy toward Jews. Pat Buchanan is also joining in:

So the guy has money; many Jews do. Why hate them for it if they earned their money honestly?

Facebook status?
By Mitch101 on 5/21/2010 9:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Im thinking the novelty of facebook is on the decline. A lot of people I know like myself barely check it anymore and a good deal of my friends have dropped thier accounts all together. Some of them have been on the site for years.

Im not going to bother with the jesus and game status junk that is posted 100 times a day but I just never grasped what the big deal was about the site and why people would want to post the stuff they do. Nor why people I was never friends with years ago want to be friends today. I think its just full of people that feel the need to be heard. The site feels like loneliness out loud or cries for help.

The only positive benefit of the site is I was able to locate a friend of mine from High School I lost touch with and I only keep the account trying to find another buddy of mine.

The only other positive benefit I could find going forward is for promoting my own buisness.

RE: Facebook status?
By bbomb on 5/21/2010 5:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
I got an account just to keep up with family. Every one on my friends list is a family memebr with the exception of maybe three people that close enough.

I post almost nothing and have it hide all the stupid games and application posts.

Yeah, right.
By Earthmonger on 5/21/2010 1:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
Swearing upon a chicken while crossing your fingers behind your back just doesn't seem sincere to me. Don't know why. Zucky missed his calling as a politician.

Seriously though, does anyone use their real email on Facebook? I don't. I am using my real name, but so few people know my real name that I'm not concerned.

RE: Yeah, right.
By bodar on 5/21/2010 10:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "missed"? He's 26 years old and worth $4B US. He's got plenty of time and money to get into politics... unfortunately. :-/

Facebook is poo?
By ggordonliddy on 5/21/2010 9:58:48 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Facebook is poo?
By eddieroolz on 5/22/2010 7:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
No discussion required; you ended it there.

By Azsen on 5/21/2010 9:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
Whoever runs Facebook has complete access to your data anyway. It's not like they encrypt the database so only you and people you allow can access certain parts of it.

By pro5 on 5/21/2010 10:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
Have used f*book for longer than I'm proud of. These days I hate going there, I barely use it but 'must' stick around as I am FB admin for some groups with many members (inc my own band and it would be a shame to drop 100s of 'fans' on there).

However, I think it is dying off and good riddance. That guy does need a slap too.

What about Yahoo?
By bfonnes on 5/23/2010 2:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
So when does Yahoo! jump into the fray on privacy? I'm fairly certain that they've been doing this kind of thing for years and much longer than facebook or MySpace, since these are only recent developments.


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