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MySpace accused of leaking user information to advertisers

MySpace LogoYet another social networking is taking heat for allowing third parties to access user ID information. This morning, mere months after news originally broke of its privacy malfunctions, MySpace was again accused of leaking user data. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Facebook predecessor’s advertisers are able to access users’ MySpace ID every time they click on a link, giving them the ability to see full profiles, including but limited to names, hometowns, genders, and ages, as well as the page previously visited before clicking the ad.

MySpace acknowledged the issue, and says it intends to take “appropriate action” against those who have been viewing user information. Among the app developers accused in The Wall Street Journal’s report were TagMe, GreenSpot, and RockYou Pets.

The website also claims that this is not as big of an issue as people are making it out to be, pointing out that, unlike Facebook, MySpace does not require users profile’s to have their actual names. That information has stayed private – that is, unless you haven’t “hidden” your real name (if you haven’t, do it now). Various app developers have also claimed that this information sharing is unintentional, and even though it is transmitted, much of the data is being ignored. Despite any reassurance accused sites issue, this trend is sure to cause even more people to become distrustful of social networking and online sharing in general.

Less than a week ago, Facebook’s own privacy concerns were aired. The top ten applications on the site were found to be sharing (possibly selling) user information with advertisers, and the site responded by promising to encrypt user IDs.