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Yet again, the spotlight is on Facebook. While the famed social networking site has garnered attention in the past for pushing the privacy envelope, this time, Facebook is on the defensive after revelation that some of its third-party software applications, or “apps,” leaked personally identifiable information about millions of its users.
Depending on a user’s privacy settings, UIDs could reveal the age, occupation, and photos posted on the user’s profile. Privacy settings are a critical means by which Facebook users can control how they share information with other users, third party websites, and the public. Thus, this newest leak raises serious questions about Facebook’s ability to honor its principles, including users’ ownership and control of information, while growing at the meteoric pace that has marked the site from its inception.
Fallout from the Wall Street Journal story includes federal lawsuits against Facebook in Rhode Island and California, as well as Congressional inquiries from members of the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus to Facebook’s larger-than-life CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
-- Kathryn Brown
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