Facebook has been long entangled in a swarm of privacy issues, with new issues cropping up frequently. NPR reports that the latest of these issues appeared on October 19th, 2010, when the Wall Street Journal published an article discussing the social-networking site's sharing of its users' personal information with outside companies. Companies that have partnered with Facebook, such as Zynga who owns the games Farmville and Mafia Wars, are under fire for mining personal data from users via Facebook's platform and selling it to advertisers across the Web. Facebook asserts that it does not allow companies on its site to sell the information that they collect, but that policy has clearly been violated in the past. Another hot topic of concern is the ability of Facebook to store personal profile information for data mining purposes even after individuals have deactivated their accounts, and whether Facebook makes permanently deleting profiles purposefully difficult to accomplish.
To read the Wall Street Journal Article, click here: http://tinyurl.com/23k9w8f
For further information on NPR's report, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2ctuhut
These articles raise many questions about the collection and sharing of personal information online:
-Are consumers being adequately informed about what is happening with the personal information that they provide on social networking sites?
-Should social networking sites be held accountable for the breach of privacy policies that occurs when outside companies sell user data?
-Are Facebook intentionally downplaying the potential effects of users sharing personal profile information with outside companies?