Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Who Gets Your Personal Information on Facebook?


By Bill Pytlovany

Are you one of the 350 million Facebook users? I’m a big fan of Facebook and like many I connect daily to see what my friends are doing and to share photos. As a security professional I am very careful about what I post and what information I allow to be shared. In that respect I’m unique. It surprises me how many of my friends will refuse to allow companies to share their information but eagerly give away their personal information to application developers on Facebook.


My friend Diana sent me some Christmas cheer. How could that be a bad thing right? Well, if I accept her cheer I’m sharing my personal information and all my friends with a company called Mob Science who has no physical address or privacy policy posted on their website.

Who are these application developers you’re giving your personal information too. One of the most popular developers is San Francisco based Zynga. They’re responsible for the games Farmville, YoVille, Mafia Wars, RollerCoaster Kingdom, Scrabble and dozens more. You’ll never be offered a chance to read Zynga’s privacy policy but the information is typical. They say only your name, address and gender are collected. As in most privacy policies they protect themselves with vague statements like “we don’t generally collect any “Personally Identifying Informationabout our users”.

I’m not saying the folks at Zynga are evil or have bad intent but I doubt most users realize they’re providing information to this or other little known companies. Most people mistakenly believe it’s just all part of the Facebook experience.

Aricle continued here

This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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6 thoughts on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Who Gets Your Personal Information on Facebook?”

  1. I deleted anything personal IE; DOB, No/name Children,PH No etc on my facebook profile that could identify me.Thanks for your info.

  2. Thanks for the info Bill, I changed all my settings to restrict others. I will pass on this info. to other facebook users.

  3. FACEBOOK has also changed privacy settings. It used to be that one could – for every one to see public search profile-one could put just name and nothing else. Now when any one in the world searches one’s name the page that pops up has: PICTURE, GENDER, PHOTOS OF ALL FRIENDS, and all pages and applications. There does not seem to be a way to get rid of these. So, now FACEBOOK decides what they think YOU should have private and what not. You don’t have a choice.

  4. Is that right then? Just because you are friends with someone any applications they agree to, gives away your details as well?


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