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Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook's strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook's rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users' activities secure.
The apps were using a common Web standard, known as a "referer," which passes on the address of the last page viewed when a user clicks on a link. On Facebook and other social-networking sites, referers can expose a user's identity.
wsj also "discovered" and reported the same "privacy breach" in may.
Since Friday, users attempting to access those applications received either an error message or were reverted to Facebook's home screen.
A few days ago the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles about a supposed Facebook privacy breach. We and others noted that the article was complete rubbish [techcrunch.com].