WSJ Article on Facebook Feeds the Privacy Beast

by on October 18, 2010 · 0 comments

The WSJ ran a front page, above-the-fold headline screaming that Facebook has had a privacy breach. But as Steve DelBianco discusses over at the NetChoice blog, today’s WSJ “breach” is all smoke and no fire.

The WSJ is saying that some of Facebook’s applications are accidentally sharing the public username on my Facebook page, in violation of the company’s privacy policy.  This story was nothing like a breach where my credit card numbers or sensitive personal information was leaked or hacked. A closer look at the issue indicates that there is far mSmoke alarm in a smoky roomore smoke than fire in the WSJ piece.

Moreover, the WSJ should step-back from using tabloid-style headings to attract eyeballs (and advertising revenue) to their research and writing.  The breathless headline is clearly meant to feed the privacy beast that is increasingly in danger of doing far more harm than good.

While details are still forthcoming, it appears that the issue at hand involves external actions between application developers and advertising companies. Facebook has stepped-up and is holding third parties accountable to existing privacy requirements.

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