Facebook Under Congressional Fire After Private Information Falls Into Advertisers’ Hands
October 19, 2010
(ChattahBox Tech News) – Facebook privacy concerns have permeated the user industry for months now, but this time, Congress is getting involved.
U.S. Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) contacted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday over concerns that several of Facebook’s most popular applications sent users’ ID numbers to advertisers and Internet tracking companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.Once the advertisers get the Facebook ID numbers, they can look up users’ names and other public information about them, WSJ notes. In their letter to Zuckerberg, the Congressmen asked how many of Facebook’s 500 million users were affected by the breach, how long Facebook has known about it, and how Facebook will adjust its policies to halt this issue. Facebook has until Oct. 27 to respond to the House members’ queries.
Although Facebook’s spokesperson did not identify the issue as a “breach,” the company acknowledged that sharing the user IDs did violate company policy, but that it occurred inadvertently due to the “technical details of how browsers work,” and that it would be dealt with, WSJ reports.