Inside Business

Richard Waters

Facebook’s latest privacy gaffe – allowing its users’ IDs to slip out to advertisers via third party apps – is not as unusual as you might think.

A year ago, researchers found that 11 of 12 social networks allowed user IDs to leak (only Google’s Orkut passed the test.) Linked with the behavioural information that third party ad servers collect, these IDs can become a “magic key” to unlock a user’s real identity, says Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.