Personal info from Facebook passed on to ad firms

Millions of pieces of personal information from Facebook were being leaked to ad firms without users` consent.

Washington: `Facebook` has been hit by another privacy row, after it emerged that millions of pieces of personal information from the social networking site were being leaked to advertising firms without users` consent.

An investigation by US newspaper `Wall Street Journal` has revealed that many popular applications on Facebook have been transmitting identifying information-in effect, providing access to people`s names and in some cases, the names of their friends to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking firms.

Though the information was passed to them by firms whose "apps" - games and other features - operate on Facebook and not by the networking site itself, the newspaper said that privacy issue affects millions of users, including those who set their profiles to its strictest privacy settings.

In fact, the practice violates Facebook`s own rules on data protection and would raise questions about the company`s ability to keep information about its members` activities
secure, the newspaper said.

However, a Facebook spokesman said that it is taking steps to "dramatically limit" the exposure of users` personal information.

"A Facebook user ID may be inadvertently shared by a user`s Internet browser or by an application. Knowledge of an ID does not permit access to anyone`s private information on Facebook," he said, adding the company would introduce new technology to contain the problem identified by the Journal.

"Our technical systems have always been complemented by strong policy enforcement, and we will continue to rely on both to keep people in control of their information," the
Facebook official added.