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October 18th, 2010
06:39 AM ET

Facebook slammed for Privacy breach: Was your info shared?

If you are one of Facebook’s 500 million users, you are going to want to hear this. The social media site is yet again under fire for leaking user’s private information. This time, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that 10 Facebook applications… including the oh-so-popular and seemingly addictive FarmVille… has been transmitting the private, personal information of its user’s, as well as those user’s friends. Bottom line, tens of millions of Facebookers have been affected.

So here’s our question. Have privacy concerns caused you to re-evaluate the way you use social media and what you post online? We want to hear from you. Tell us what you think. Kyra Phillips may read some of your comments on during the 10 o’clock hour of CNN Newsroom.

Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Deanna Scott

    Privacy concerns have absolutely made me cautious of what I post online. It's best to assume that what is posted online, whether later erased or not, can always be retrieved by someone looking hard enough. Especially when using 3rd party applications on sites like Facebook.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  2. Don

    It has reiforced what I have been telling all my friends for a long time.
    If you think Big Brother isn't watching your a fool.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  3. Char

    I realize that there will be breaches on FB and that I have a personal responsibility to guard my privacy. My beef is that we always hear about these kinds of breaches from CNN or other FB users...never hear directly from FB as to how they are fixing the problem. FB needs to be more transparent with its users.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  4. David D.

    I got the best internet privacy security system in the world...I have no life.
    If anyone steals my identity, they'll give it right back after they find out I got nothing!
    It's all the other people out there that have lives and open up messages from some random bozo and then complain about how somebody else is using their stuff!

    October 18, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  5. gustroh

    I've never used facebook or twitter. I can see no use or benefit of sharing my life with strangers. I beleive that at least 75% of all human kind is evil, to include the media and their ways of invading peoples lives.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  6. Ina

    Anyone who uses the internet and has for anytime knows they have no privacy. It is no different than out here in the real world. Cyberspace there are thieves just like in the real world. So if you don't want your information to get out then do use the internet or become someone you are not.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  7. Citypeek Patti

    Kyra-to date there are over 600 million FB users–that is 1 in 14 in the world! I don't let other apps/games into FB. It is www world WILD web.
    The words you leave on #fb are like tattoos drilled deep into your skin, inked in forever! Be aware-there is NOTHING private.

    CITYPEEK Patti- ONLY writes what I think the world can see and probably repeat and it isn't boy what a hot cup of coffee that was. 😉

    October 18, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  8. June Clendening

    Yes, I believe Facebook poses a risk that your information will be available. I am on facebook. When my computer crashed a couple of months ago, I immediately got an ad to protect my computer from scams, etc. I thought that was a bit odd. I shut the computer down and when my repair man came, he stated that Facebook is frequently guilty of displaying my information to others for no good cause. When my computer was repaired, there were over a dozen people I had never heard of wanting to be "friends." I deleted them all.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  9. Mary

    I have refused to join Facebook because of privacy issues. Yahoo is, unbidded, forwarding and posting to me excerpts of what people in my email address book have written to others or posted else where on the net! It comes up when I open my email account, in the format of: 'your friend so and so has written such and such' ! In our current society it seems the majority of 'the masses' have a sickness concerning the need for world wide public recognition and fame. The egos need for it's 15 minutes is going to come around and bite the many clueless on the behind. No wonder there is so much identity theft!

    October 18, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  10. Nick from Laredo, Texas

    This is why on facebook, I do not use apps. (:

    October 18, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  11. Madelyn

    This is unbelieveable. I honestly can't believe that a game or a facebook app like this is leaking info. People put their trust into this wanting to be on facebook wanting to use these apps and do the games and quizzes. But now their info is being leaked. I mean if you put your trust into this and they take that away from you thats really really wrong. They need to keep their word on what they say or they are gonna loose alot of money and users. Many younger kids join facebook to use the apps and they don't take the time to make sure that everything is safe that is not good and this is even worse leaking their info they didnt even know they agreed to share with them. This is sickening.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  12. sydney mcCauley

    I Can't belive that someone would do that i mean i can but it is so stupied to do that cuase more people should have more seens than to read and take other people's personal info.It's wrong that we have people in this world in this countey that have no seens at all to go and do this and even though you may think that your doing something good that its stupied to know that we have people in this world that really do that.And yeah i may only be a 14 year old girl i and more seens then to know not to do that unlike some of then 3 o and 40 year old people that should have a hole lot more seens!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  13. nay

    It seems that everyone is blaming Facebook for all sorts of information being leaked to anyone and everyone. But what we have all forgotten is that WE need to take some responsibility. If you don't put your phone number on the internet/facebook, no one will get it. If you don't put personal information on the internet/facebook, no one will get it. Also, WE have got to take responsibility and use the privacy settings that are on facebook. Our privacy is OUR responsibility.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  14. DZ

    Privacy concerns is a joke these days. People have a sense of Privacy when its all an illusion. Thanks to the Patriot Act, this killed our Privacy.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  15. Jeff Simon

    Facebook, Twitter and sites like them are fantastic networking tools that allow you to have contact with a much larger social network than was conceivable even just 10 years ago. It should be expected that the information you put on a public site could be compromised even if you opt to keep that information "private". That said, I feel sorry for people that don't take the time or are afraid to try these services. In my experience, I've reconnected with friends long lost, developed business partnerships and become more aware of current events, all from a site that provides its services for free.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  16. Tina

    I am tired of the excuses, Facebbok keeps leaks and changing our personal info compromising our security. If they would just state that they are not going to protect our privacy at least we will know then not to list personal info. Instead they state they will protect our privacy to obtain our personal info then leak it.. Personally I would like to see their bank account to see if this "SO CALLED LEAK" to advertisers was paid for.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  17. sgreco

    I believe our personal information is too important to share so freely. Companies make enormous profit from accessing our information willy nilly. In my opinion, we should set the price that they would have to pay us for every byte of it -that just might make keeping some privacy in this world a tad easier!

    October 18, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  18. Clay Gullatt

    What Facebook won't tell you is that they have the ability (unless you block it) to mine all your email addresses in your email accounts and sell them to advertistors so you and everyone in your address book gets spammed.It happened to me and many others I know. I no longer belong to Facebook, but it is not easy to quit them, they make it as difficult as possible. No simple link to say "close my account" you must jump through hoops to close it.


    October 18, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  19. scott logue

    I don't post anything online that I don't want the rest of the world to know .

    October 18, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  20. John

    I signed on to Face book last year. I did not trust the site and did not feel comfortable putting a lot of personal information on there for the world to see. I have advised all my children and friends to delete their accounts. I deleted my account over a year ago. Anyone with the right computer know how and technology can probably even get into your personal bank account by what you post on the site and even go after your family and friends. To me the site is not safe, i do not care what people say, maybe it is my ex-military instincts, the military trains people how to spot when something is not cosher and up and up thats why we need the military draft back.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  21. Tom D

    When I first signed up for Facebook 3 years ago, it was common knowledge that applications (apps) had access to your personal information and USED that information for marketing/advertising purposes.

    This is exactly why I never added any applications to my account!

    This "breach" is nothing new, and technically is not even a breach at all... It was a "feature" for app programmers...

    For instance, the creators of an app called something like "Where i've Been" were able to sell what they had done for millions – simply because the application (in which users input places on a world map where they had been to) had access to users personal information as well as their travel habits – information that was VERY valuable for marketers/advertisers of vacation travel...

    Tom D.
    Florida Keys

    October 18, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  22. Jean, Toronto

    I do not use Facebook and have no intention of subscribing to it. I do not trust that social network. This also includes what I heard about Facebook and breach of confidentiality.
    I never follow the crowd and I am the last the person, if never, to follow the crowd.
    I have had invitations to join Facebook but I declined. By no means will I access Facebook.
    My personal matters, such as my name, etc., belong to me and not to the entire world. I treasure my privacy.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  23. Clay G.

    I did have my personal info blocked but that did not prevent FB from mining my computer for all the email addresses on it and spamming them with ads. Who gave them the right to do that? They are out to earn money and nothing more. They care nothing for your personal privacy. They are Big Brother and they are watching you! You have to be a fool to put any personal info on there unless it is false.


    October 18, 2010 at 9:44 am |

    Well this answers the question as to how a site which such limited visible, on-screen advertising can yeild such huge numbers.
    They sell your information don't they? ; )

    October 18, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  25. Chloe

    I don't think this latest story should be that much of a surprise. Social networks like FB are NOT the only way advertisers get ahold of our "personal" information. The card you use at the grocery store or the gas station ( a customer card that sometimes saves you a little money, too) records information on your purchases, your preferences, your buying habits. Whenever you make a purchase with a credit card – your information is eventually bought and sold by someone. Even a potential employer can run a credit check on you. I have really enjoyed re-connecting with old friends on FB – it's too bad that it always has to come down to making as much money as possible and that customers can't trust much of anything online. FB has the right to sell advertising – it's a business after all – but this kind of crap is making me rethink using FB at all anymore.

    October 18, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  26. Barry

    I dropped FB for reasons like this. My high school Economics teacher taught us – "There is no such thing as a free lunch." Basically, nothing is free; you pay for it somehow. In this case, "free" games and apps gather your personal information, track your habits, and who knows what else they use it for. Thanks for the free apps, but I decline.

    October 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  27. charles burns

    if this is true they should be made to pay in some way and held accountable

    October 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  28. Tiffany

    I have been on FB for a while and I really enjoy the interaction with all of my friends. I dont really have any apps on my account because I have always done FB from my phone and dont have access to play games etc. Within this past week my account was compromised. My display name remains the same, however, my logon address and password have both been changed. I have emailed FB 4 times. I have looked through to notify that my account has been compromised, which looks as if they will reply once you try certain things..I have yet to get a response. I doubt that I do. I know they have tons of people with problems requiring their assistance, so I am just trying to get over it. My account was fully private. The only thing accessible was my friend list come to find out. I will be able to log in through a friends account to get all of my pictures back thankfully. I will not post any pictures of my children on there again and am not sure that I will even post any of myself. Its unfortunate that people do things like this, but it is the world that we live in.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
  29. Johnson

    Did facebook block the offending applications over concerns with privacy or because they did not want to see someone else competing with them in selling that information which would drive down prices?

    October 21, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  30. Charity Carlton

    The newest chat change is a serious breach of privacy and is scary. I just had someone who is NOT my friend see my photo and post to that photo AND tag himself to that photo when he's not IN the photo. This is a serious breach of Facebook and I can't get anything from facebook !!! This new chat is that everyone is seeing everyone's posts and pictures, etc. This is unsafe! Can someone make facebook stop?

    July 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
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