Facebook Flap Highlights Growing Privacy Concerns : NPR

Facebook became snagged Monday in yet another privacy problem when a Wall Street Journal article revealed that applications on the site were sharing personal information with outside companies.

But many of the popular games and applications on Facebook, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, do give notice that the game will access some personal information — and users play anyway.

When you accept an invitation to play Farmville, a notice comes up.  Farmville is requesting permission to access your basic information, such as name, gender and list of friends. Although we may worry about giving the information up, we also want to play.

“Their business model is harvesting not just these virtual vegetables but the data about you, watching every move you make and changing the game so they can collect more information,” said Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

Chester said that information is used to target advertisements to individuals. Zynga’s privacy policy says it doesn’t sell information to other companies. Facebook says it doesn’t allow companies on its site to sell the information they collect. But that policy was clearly being violated until recently.

via Facebook Flap Highlights Growing Privacy Concerns : NPR.

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