Monday, May 16, 2011

Facebook users' info leaked to advertisers

Facebook users' info leaked to advertisers

Personal information of over 500 million Facebook users has been leaked to third-party companies, such as advertisers, without their knowledge.

According to internet security company Symantec, the leaked data includes profile information, photographs and chat logs of millions of people who use the social network website.

Symantec claims the leak comes from the many Facebook applications published by third-party developers, The Daily Mail reports.

"We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage," said Symantec blog post.

"Over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties like advertisers or analytic platforms," it added.

According to Symantec, 'Access tokens' allow Facebook applications to access and change personal profile information. Users' typically grant applications this type of access to allow them to post notifications on their profile, and on their friends' profiles, and to access data.

By handing over these tokens to others, application developers give advertisers or online analytics companies a way to get personal information too.

The warning came just two weeks after Sony admitted that 100 million users of its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment services had their security details stolen by hackers.

Symantec said they had notified Facebook of the breach in security.

However, Facebook's security spokesman, Malorie Lucich, played down the warning.

"Unfortunately, Symantec's resulting report has a few inaccuracies. Specifically, we have conducted a thorough investigation which revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user's private information being shared with unauthorized third parties," she said.

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jAiFBloGT-A BiNdAs Collection!!

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