Facebook, Other Social Networks Fix Privacy Flaw

Lora Bentley

The hits just keep coming for Facebook.


The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the social networking site, along with MySpace, Xanga, Digg, and others, had been sending information to advertisers that could be used to look up specific profiles and personal details about users.


Writers Emily Steel and Jessica Vasscellaro explain:

Across the Web, it's common for advertisers to receive the address of the page from which a user clicked on an ad. ...With social networking sites, those addresses typically include user names that could direct advertisers back to a profile page full of personal information.


After Facebook was made aware of the loophole, the company took immediate steps to rewrite code and correct the problem, but it certainly doesn't help Facebook's recent efforts to win back user trust.


Slide Show

Check out highlights from Lora's poll of industry experts on the topic of online security.

Just this week the company announced it is planning to revamp user privacy controls again - to make them simpler this time. The announcement followed what appeared to be a hastily called all-hands meeting to strategize around privacy practices.


Here's hoping the company follows through after all its talk. Otherwise, Facebook may find itself up against stiff penalties around the world, and the number of users deactivating or deleting their accounts will no doubt increase.

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