Facebook drops six-month ban on developers who sold user info

facebook drops six month ban on developers who sold user info over rapleaf  nov 2010

In working to shut down a hole by which some Facebook application developers “inadvertently” wound up sharing Facebook user IDs with third parties, Facebook says it stumbled across instances were data brokers were paying developers to collect Facebook user IDs and contact lists. Collecting and reselling Facebook user IDs is a violation of Facebook policy, so Facebook is banning the developers from the Facebook platform for six months.

“Facebook has never sold and will never sell user information,” wrote Facebook’s Mike Vernal, in a blog post. “We also have zero tolerance for data brokers because they undermine the value that users have come to expect from Facebook.”

As a result of the leaked Facebook User IDs, Facebook says it is requiring developers delete any user IDs they have obtained—through whatever means—and switch to a new anonymous identifier mechanism Facebook is planning to release to developers this week. By January 1, 2011, developers will be required to use the new anonymous identifiers, and those anonymous IDs will be included in Facebook’s category of protected information, meaning developers may not transmit those IDs outside their applications, code, or services required to run their applications. In other words, passing them along to third parties is forbidden.

Developers who have found themselves banned from Facebook for collecting user IDs will be able to get back onto Facebook after the ban if they submit their apps to a full audit and confirm they now comply with Facebook policies. Facebook says the bans were handed down to fewer than a dozen “mostly small developers,” and did not impact any of Facebook’s top ten applications.

The only third party called out by Facebook is the ad-targeting firm Rapleaf, which Facebook has identified as one of the data brokers which had been purchasing UUIDs. Facebook indicated it has “reached an agreement” with San Francisco-based Rapleaf that will see the company deleting all Facebook user IDs in its possession and which ends Rapleaf’s involvement with any Facebook application, now or in the future.

Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Emerging Tech

This high-tech shopping cart from Walmart could save your life

Walmart has an idea for a shopping cart that monitors customers' health. Data from it could help it to improve the shopping experience, and enable staff to react quickly to accidents or sudden health-related issues among shoppers.
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Computing

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.
Computing

Personal info of 30,000-plus Pentagon employees compromised in contractor breach

The Pentagon is facing another security problem after it was discovered that a contractor was responsible for a leak of data that affected more than 30,000 Pentagon employees, both civilian and military.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.
Computing

Did your Windows 10 audio stop working after the update? Microsoft has a fix

Microsoft has released a small patch for its October 2018 Update build of Windows 10 following some users facing audio issues that resulted in no sound output at all. After this fix, that problem should disappear for good.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Computing

World’s first 49-inch, dual QHD curved monitor tops Dell’s new line of displays

Dell's world's first 49-inch dual QHD curved monitor and other new displays come packed with innovative design features and technologies aimed at meeting demands of workflows everywhere.
Computing

Updated Intel processor benchmarks still beat AMD Ryzen competitor, but by less

After some controversy, updated Principled Technologies testing shows the Intel i9-9900K with a reduced lead over the AMD Ryzen 2700X in benchmarks, and with the AMD Ryzen 2700 X seeing better performance. 
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.