back to article Facebook gives users' names to advertisers

Facebook has been giving advertisers data that they can use to discover users' names and locations, contrary to its privacy policy. The dominant social network tells users it won't share their details without consent, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it has handed over information that advertisers can use to look up …

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  1. bexley

    what the ...

    they are handing out our personal detail including our names to advertisers???

    how can that be legal?

    1. JimC Silver badge

      @what the

      Possible, and strictly speaking it may be that a user name alone isn't personal data: goodness knows there are enough JImCs on the internet, and maybe a fair few bexleys too...

      However, given a bit of data mining with all the stuff people post on their profiles and elsewhere I imagine it starts getting pretty straightforward to identify the real people behind those FB usernames...

  2. ReaderOfTheRegister
    Dead Vulture

    Seriously...

    El Reg's FB coverage and followup is good, but can we please get the "Dumb fucks" part over and done with? You keep rubbing in something that took place more than 5 years ago.

    Seriously, if we were to list all the nonsensical sh*t that this rag has posted over the years (just look at the SAP/Sybase horror that was unleashed this week) there'd be no end of it.

    We all live and learn; please extend that thinking to your editorial process as well.

  3. Mark Thomas 3
    Thumb Down

    Sigh..

    ...getting bored of all this privacy crap now. If you don't want it public don't put it on-line. Is it really that hard?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Face Book is a wank anyway.

    And the corporate morons shit in their own nest again......

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Learn?

      I think the reason this "dumb fucks" thing keeps getting repeated is because it shows His Zucker-ness's attitude, to people who trust him with their projects and data for him to exploit, from an earlier age. This is an attitude that doesn't seem to have changed in the last five years. All the various Facebook Privacy stories, go to show that although Mark continues to "Live", he probably hasn't learnt or changed much and continues to see users' data as his own to milk for revenue as much as he likes regardless of their privacy settings, or indeed Facebook's own privacy policy.

      I have some sympathy with the view that if you don't want it public don't put it on the web, but its the way Facebook keep moving the goal posts by changing settings and reducing privacy options to serve themselves and at the same time against their users.

      Its the same as Willy Schmitt at the Chocolate Factory and his comment about users who complain about privacy clearly have something to hide. Utter BS, and worth frequent reminders because if we apply similar logic we can assume that he stands by it until such time as he decides to retract it. I've not seen him keen to step up and provide chapter and verse on all of his personal details, so we can assume either he has something to hide, or its do as I say not as I do...

      I can only imagine you're a Troll, or the Zucker himself?

    2. Cameron Colley

      Does that include email too?

      While I agree with you to a point, the issue here is that Faceboob is supposed to lock down whichever details you want to whichever audience you want -- in other words if it worked as advertised then it would almost be as private as webmail and could actually be the email replacement some seem to think it is. My email is hosted on the web -- does that mean I should expect it to be shared with the world?

      Yes, there's a valid argument that you shouldn't sign up for anything like this because of the potential fro privacy breaches and lots of IT people and other paranoid and/or techy types I know won't use this kind of thing, myself included.

      But Facepalm appeals to those who aren't as aware of these potential problems so they have to go by the Ts and Cs -- which are evidently lies. This is the problem here.

      People are not complaining that their details "are on the internet" they're complaining that things they were told would not happen have happened.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Unholy offspring!

      Mark admit it your the love child of Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg, arent you?

    4. Gianni Straniero

      Re: Seriously

      You are Mark Zuckerberg, and I claim my five pounds.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, that's OK then, if it was a '5 years ago'...

      By that strain of logic, I'm going forgive Jack The Ripper as he's not quite as 'stabby' as he was a few years back...that nulls his crimes, then.

      The fact that it's being 'rubbed in' is because it's possibly indicative of the guy's mindset, and with all the recent kerfuffle it's actually pretty relevant. I'm a believer that Leopards don't change their spots and all that (unless we're talking about 10.6).

      I left Facebook for other reasons, chiefly - but I'd be lying if I said privacy concerns weren't in there. Yeah yeah, I shouldn't have joined...blather blather, whatever. A lot of us of did, but now is the time to re-evaluate that decision in light of all this.

      Here's why I quit, I hope I can at least get somebody else to consider (I've already scored me a -1)

      http://manfromthezoo.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-i-left-facebook.html

    6. ReaderOfTheRegister

      No, I'm not Mr. Z...

      and for that matter, I don't trust him or FB and never did - I've never created an FB profile.

      Still, I think that holding on to a bit of IRC chat, taken completely out of context, many years ago is not relevant to what is going on today. Gods know I wouldn't want to be held accountable for many of the IRC comments I've made x years ago while tired, tiddly or otherwise none too sharp.

      1. Oregon Guy
        Big Brother

        The REAL Mr. Z

        I have to agree that the Reg sometimes overuses its catchphrases. However, this phrase was *not* taken out of context; in fact, the context is MUCH richer than the epithet alone.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/14/facebook_trust_dumb/

        And it is entirely relevant. He was not talking about how he thought that Jar Jar Binks was cool, or how he loved to wank with his teddy bear. He was talking about the first several thousand users of the very same Facebook that he is running today. He held his users in contempt for being so stupid as to think that he would not do something to them that he wouldn't want done to himself. What's most interesting, the only thing that Zuck had to gain from the offer he made was a bit of ego gratification, like a malicious bureaucrat. No financial incentive required. He lives in a sociopathic world where those who trust others deserve to be used and abused to the maximimum extent that the user can get away with.

        It's true that people do immature things in their youth, but not every attitude is changed by the passage of time. In the years that have passed, I expect that Mark "I'm CEO... Bitch" Zuckerberg has learned to be more careful with his words, but his need to have one over on people is there to stay.

    7. JShel
      Thumb Up

      I am hoping

      I am hoping it will merge to become "...Dumb Fucks...Bitch!"

      Just keep piling on the boy genius' own words so we can bask in his reflected wisdom.

  5. yoinkster
    WTF?

    people ...

    read adverts?! and some people even click on them?! WTF!!

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "dumb fucks"

    Actually, the first (and probably last) time I agree with Zuckerberg.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Real names?

    Mein Gott in Himmel !!

  8. Stef 4

    Seriously?

    Facebook users actually click on the ads?

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      #adblock

      There are adverts on the internet ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        What are you talking about?

        What are adverts?

      2. Ball boy

        re: #adblock

        There's something called FaceBook on the Internet?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    What next?

    Facebook putting your Granny up for sale on ebay and claiming Prima Nocta with your Sister, then passing the whole thing off as a 'technical error'. They'll get there one day at this rate.

  10. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Theres an

    old lesson to be learned from the depths of IRC and usenet

    NEVER use your real name in a public on-line account

  11. envmod

    seriously?

    Facebook actually has users?

  12. Andy Watt

    well, he was only 19, but still...

    The "dumb f***s" incident was when he was still at college, but I reckon it's got to be a window into his mindset on this stuff. Age will only have spread a layer of gloss on his basic instincts...

  13. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Die now!

    From another news site: "Self-styled internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis is planning to delete his Facebook profile live online today, reports Mike Butcher on the Techcrunch blog. Calacanis decided to announce his intentions via JasonNation, a daily e-mail brief with over 23,000 subscribers. "

    THAT is why FB has to go! The entire online world, well the one with self-obessed toss-pots, seems to revolve around what people do with their chuffing FB account! FFS!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <title/>

      Jason who?

    2. JShel

      Probably

      Probably he is just as bad today, since he never had to deal with any world but his own.

      He went from douchebag student at a school that gives its students a feeling of privilege, straight to being the CEO...Bitch! of a company with enough money to literally wall himself off from the opinions of others. Age doesn't apply the gloss, so much as facing the harsh reality that the rest of the world is not impressed with you at all. Think about when you first went looking for a job, except for the top 5% it is a humbling experience - the first of many - that the majority of folks go through.

      Has he ever 1) been in the presence of anyone who pointed out what a douche he is, and 2) if so, has he ever been in a position where he couldn't blow them off as "Dumb Fucks"?

  14. maxie
    Happy

    hmmm....

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-social-networking-site-changing-the-way-oh-chr,17465/

  15. vic 4
    FAIL

    Conset

    Surely facebook users gave consent to this already. I've never been on facebook so can only go off articles on el reg, but I got the impression that when you join facebook you transfer ownership of anything you ever do and own.

  16. Bugs R Us
    Paris Hilton

    Publish and be damned

    "Dumb fucks" about covers it.

  17. g e

    Fine them 50M

    Only when it's too expensive to get caught ... err make an honest mistake... will Zuckerberg make it good and proper.

    Exactly the same as the premium rate industry which permanently tacks against the boundaries laid down by PhonePayPlus, you decide how much P3 would fine you if you got nicked vs the amount you expect to clear and if the difference is worth it you run the campaign.

  18. Sillyfellow
    Stop

    the price to pay

    yes, just accept that there will usually be some price to pay for free goodness out there.

    my opinion is simply that if you use FB (and other thinks like that), then your reasons for using such a service should be important enough to risk the pilferation of your stuff (yeah, i like making up words. k).

    see it all depends on what you doing in there. if you just playing silly buggers then you take risk/pay price without reasonable cause (or thought)..

    have people forgotten that these kind of things are tools, and not toys?

  19. Daegroth
    FAIL

    Interesting fail

    "It's just the latest privacy failing by Facebook..."

    Hmmm, so that's why FB decided to let us all choose our own 'custom' URL for profile pages, not a failing at all, more like a plan to sell data that they thought they could get away with.

    The only fail part about it was that they got caught

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The world's tiniest open source violin

    http://xkcd.com/743/

  21. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    What FB ads?

    Greasemonkey + FB ad killer = No FB ads.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    burn 'em

    Fuck facebook before it fucks you.

  23. SleepyJohn
    Linux

    Anyone remember Gerald Ratner?

    . . . and the consequences of his unguarded comment about his customers?

    1. Walking Turtle
      Pint

      For those who don't...

      ...we have http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3199822.stm as a reminder of that one, plus a few others of historical note.

  24. Matthew Barker
    Stop

    The problem is...

    that we're, once again, being offered some "free" "service" that costs quite a lot to render. And those offering the service are employed in a "start-up" company, which is the silicon valley equivalent of a Las Vegas casino. They want to get rich. Thus it's quite naive to expect the business that's trying to grow a new crop of billionaires not to try to make money off of its users in any way possible.

    The users are largely freetards walking a fine line with giving up personal details - in a time of rampant ID theft - in trying to get as much as they can for free and the businesses are trying to make as much money as they can off the users, walking a fine line with legalities and word play in their "privacy" policies.

    So we have greedy bastards on either side of the line.

  25. Walking Turtle
    Grenade

    URL FWIW

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/12/business/facebook-privacy.html

    Global .jpg map of the FBInternational Privacy Settings, with tips, clues and all. Imho: If, after the viewing thereof + a deep-read of the FB Proivacy Pwolicy with ones' Weasel+Badger Detector set to even half-sensitivity one *ever* comes away [still] with an account on that pigdog suckerbait sellout pseudoservice, well, one is inclined to believe that What The Zuck said about his firm's subscriber base just might apply to Guess Who.

    So does that guy also somehow cheat his advertizers too...?

  26. Llanfair
    Badgers

    The problem is

    I have a Facebook account because many of my old school friends from over 20 years ago are on there. I have placed privacy settings that means that photos and so on are only available to my friends and my profile photo is only available to friends of friends. Also I hid my name from Facebook search. The problem is that even though I set these things up, Facebook comes round and changes everything to be public whenever they have a new change of privacy rules. Those that do not check their settings regularly will soon find out that their photos and so on are in the public domain.

  27. min

    Zucciniberg is right...

    ...we are dumb fu@ks for trusting him with mounds of our data..

    that said, i would not mind giving him a lesson in humulity at a conveniently located dark alley...

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