Facebook privacy scare (shocking, we realise)

Ah, Facebook. Unlike many people, we here at Digitaledge think the company is a sinister conspiracy aimed at tricking us all into giving up our secrets to be sold to advertisers. But they do seem to have terrible trouble keeping users' private data private, don't they?

In fairness, this latest snafu isn't the doing of Facebook itself, but the applications that run on it. The Wall Street Journal has reported that several popular Facebook applications, including the annoyingly ubiquitous Farmville, have sold the data they collect on users to advertisers.

The problem, the Journal explains, lies in the way Facebook packages links people click in apps, which can send a user's ID to app owners. They can then collect whatever data they can on the user and their friends, according to the user's privacy settings, and sell it on.

Sharing such data is against Facebook's rules, and the company has vowed to close the technical loophole which makes such information available. Still, this should provoke another rash of privacy-driven Facebook account deletions.

What do you think? Does Facebook do its best to protect user's privacy? Or does it leave gaps in privacy protections deliberately to enrich advertisers?

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