App Developers Caught Selling Facebook User Info to a Data Broker

By Akemi Iwaya on November 1st, 2010

Over the weekend Facebook revealed that a data broker was caught purchasing identifying user information from some of the platform’s app developers. This incident combined with the previous revelation that many popular apps were transmitting user IDs to advertising and data firms just adds more fuel to the ongoing privacy debate regarding Facebook.

From the article (Facebook Developer Blog entry): As we examined the circumstances of inadvertent UID transfers, we discovered some instances where a data broker was paying developers for UIDs. While we determined that no private user data was sold and confirmed that transfer of these UIDs did not give access to any private data, this violation of our policy is something we take seriously. As such, we are taking action against these developers by instituting a 6-month full moratorium on their access to Facebook communication channels, and we will require these developers to submit their data practices to an audit in the future to confirm that they are in compliance with our policies. This impacts fewer than a dozen, mostly small developers, none of which are in the top 10 applications on Facebook Platform.

Are you surprised by the latest revelation? Were you already expecting something like this to come to light? Do you think that Facebook should have permanently banned the app developers caught selling information or is the six month suspension punishment enough? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!

Facebook app developers sold user info [ZDNET News – Asia]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 11/1/10
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