Facebook suspends app developers who sold user info

Steven Musil CNET News | November 1, 2010 7:28 AM PDT

Facebook has revealed that a data broker has been buying identifying Facebook user information from app developers, and as a result the social-networking powerhouse has placed some developers on a six-month suspension.

The announcement, which Facebook made Friday afternoon on its developer blog, comes on the heels of the revelation that many popular Facebook apps were transmitting user IDs–which can be used to look up a users’ names and, in some cases, the names of the app user’s friends–to at least 25 advertising and data firms.

Facebook did not identify the data broker that was purchasing user information but did say it had reached an agreement with Rapleaf, a San Francisco-based data aggregation company that was previously identified as receiving some user information. Facebook said that Rapleaf has agreed to delete all user ID information in its possession and agreed not to conduct any further activities on the social network. The blog post did not indicate whether Rapleaf was the broker involved in the sale of user information, and Rapleaf representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

For more on this story, read Facebook app developers sold user info on CNET News.

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