Farmville accused of data mining

Monday, 18th October 2010 21:35 GMT By Justin Kranzl


Facebook users don’t have to use dubious apps on the social network to be at risk of a privacy breach. The Wall Street Journal reports that all ten of Facebook’s most popular apps – including Zynga’s Farmville – transmit user information to “at least 25” data mining and advertising firms, in apparent contravention of both Facebook and industry standards.

Three of those apps – including the farming sim, which has reportedly amassed in excess of 59 million users – went a step further, passing on “personal information about a user’s friends”.

Defenders of the practice claim it’s only the user’s unique, numeric “Facebook ID” being shared – not their name. However from that ID, companies can extract at the bare minimum a user’s name if a user has set all their information to “private,” through to pictures, age, location and other details if they haven’t. Data mining outfits in turn marry up information gleaned from Facebook to their own databases for commercial use.

A Facebook spokesperson stated they were “committed to addressing” the issue, and had started shutting down offending applications.



  1. Crysis


    #1 4 years ago
  2. Razor


    #2 4 years ago
  3. 2plus2equals5

    Oh please don’t tell me that you are surprised!
    Do you know how it’s possible for social networks to remain free with millions of users? Simple, they sell for a lot of money your entire life(name, sex, age, country, hobbies, tastes, friends, political ideas etc) to companies(and police can read your private data for free).
    Farmville isn’t evil, it’s only son of social networks.
    Subscribing to a social network is like giving your life to people that will sell it to anyone who want it.
    Think about it people!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Cort

    If you find yourself surprised by this news, life will continue to be very difficult for you.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Freek

    It’s not about surprises. It’s about having the proof to back it up, wich they now have. So this is rightly getting some media attention.
    Facebook promotes itself heavely on being privacy consiouse, when they clearly aren’t.

    #5 4 years ago

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