Oct 232010
 October 23, 2010  Posted by  Online

The Associated Press followed up on the recent Wall Street Journal investigative piece on social media and apps sharing user IDs with advertisers:

MySpace has been sharing with its advertisers data that can be used to identify user profile pages, but the company doesn’t consider that to be a problem.

The company said it did not consider the data to be information that could identify a person, partly because MySpace doesn’t require members to use their real names. The social networking site acknowledged transmitting information to advertisers that included a user ID and the last page viewed before a user clicked on an ad.

Read more from the Associated Press.

So MySpace doesn’t agree that this is a problem? Great, then they have no obligation to address it.  But I’ll expect to see an announcement on their home page saying, “We share your user ID and last page viewed with our advertisers, but we’re not concerned that this might be a privacy issue for you.” And of course, I expect to see their Privacy Policy modified to alert users to this possibility.

Let me know when the announcement is up.

The Wall Street Journal investigative report had also found that RapLeaf had linked Facebook data with its own database of users and had sold those data to other firms. RapLeaf told the WSJ that those transmissions were “unintentional.”

Google collected your email and passwords “unintentionally.” RapLeaf sold your data “unintentionally.” Well, if the excuse worked for Google, it should be good enough for RapLeaf, right?

Do we really believe that so many people have no idea what they’re collecting, sharing, or selling?

When was the last time we heard about a site or app “unintentionally” over-protecting your data?

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