Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Facebook Games Expose Users

by Matthew Kato on Oct 18, 2010 at 05:19 AM

Some popular Facebook games like Farmville have been transmitting user's names – without the knowledge of developers, users, or Facebook – to third-party data mining firms.

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal found that the names of up to tens of millions of Facebook users have been harvested from popular Facebook games even though users might have set up strict privacy settings. Marketing companies often buy names from other companies to bolster their database for advertising purposes like spam as well as tracking a user's online activities. A Facebook official said that the ID extraction process wouldn't reveal user's private details, but that the company would enact counter-measures to stop the practice.

Facebook has rules against this, but it clearly didn't stop this from happening. Facebook has come under criticism for exposing user's info in the past year, and the Journal itself has previously busted Facebook itself for transmitting user IDs to ad companies. Is it crazy then to think that Facebook knew and approved of this newest breach all along?