Oct 182010
 
 October 18, 2010  Breaches, Online

Kashmir Hill writes about the WSJ piece revealing a Facebook privacy “breach:”

… Using “breach” to describe this strikes me as overwrought. The applications reveal your name, that you are on Facebook, and possibly which application(s) you’ve downloaded. Is that something that we should be freaking out about? A host of experts debated the issue on Twitter last night.

“WSJ continues its war against the internet,” tweeted media commentator and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis. He cheekily noted that the Wall Street Journal does not mention that MySpace, owned like the WSJ by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, has the same issue. “WSJ Facebook slam makes no mention of its competitor, MySpace.”

The issue at the heart of the article is one of technological design. When you surf the Internet, sites get a “referring url” when you arrive at their site. Since Facebook includes your unique ID in site urls, that identifies our personal accounts, which can then be linked to our names. “More referrer header leakage,” tweeted privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian. “Two web browsers don’t protect at all and Chrome/FireFox require obscure configuration option. Disgraceful.”

Read more on Forbes.

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