A Wall Street Journal investigation has revealed that many of the most popular apps on the Facebook social-networking site have been providing access to users’ identifying information to advertisers and Internet tracking firms, The Journal reported.
The report describes the practice as a breach of Facebook’s rules and adds that the problem has affected even those users who apply the Web site’s strictest privacy settings.
The revelation raises questions about Facebook’s ability to maintain security with information about its users’ activities, the story says. The problem affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, The Journal adds.
A spokesman for Facebook reportedly said Sunday that the company is taking steps to “dramatically limit” the extent to which its users’ personal information is exposed.
"A Facebook user ID may be inadvertently shared by a user’s Internet browser or by an application," the spokesman is quoted as saying. He added that knowing a user’s ID "does not permit access to anyone’s private information on Facebook," and said the company will introduce new technology to address the problem.
Apps that have been found to be transmitting the information include FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille.