Facebook Security Breach: Not Very Significant?

The supposed “breach” of Facebook by the social network’s third-party applications has been a major news story since The Wall Street Journal printed an article that made the situation sound worse than it was.

According to BBC News, a number of third-party application developers were accessing personal information of an unknown number of Facebook uses and relaying that information to companies and advertisers. Although many Facebook users see this as another major problem with security, the situation actually isn’t very worrisome.

Third-party developers make programs to use within Facebook, called “Applications.” These applications often utilize cookies, small bits of data that tell where you have been online. According to a Facebook developer, some of the third-party applications were unintentionally pulling the names of members using those applications. Even some information deemed completely private by the Facebook user was accessed.

But the third-party developers deny using this information for any purpose, and deny knowledge that the applications would pull such information. According to The Daily Beast writer David Kirkpatrick, there is not even proof that any of these third-party developers used this personal information in any way. Zynga, developer of popular Facebook game applications, actually said they wouldn’t even want such information.

Once Facebook discovered the problem, they immediately began working to fix it. Aside from committing to further work in the security department, Facebook worked to remove all third-party applications that were transmitting data. Facebook, it should be noted, is not significantly involved in the development of these third-party applications.

This reminder of Facebook’s imperfect security system should offer us the advice that everything we do online is possibly being tracked, even reading this blog post and clicking the “like” button underneath.

Do you think there is more to this story than meets the eye?

One Response to Facebook Security Breach: Not Very Significant?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>