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Report: Some MySpace Games Sharing User IDs With Advertisers

Date: Oct 25 2010 09:09:15 Source: .gamasutra.com Views:
KeyWord: MySpace, Wall Street Journal, RockYou

In the wake of recent revelations over privacy concerns with Facebook apps, a new report finds some MySpace apps -- including some games -- are sharing user ID data with advertisers, in violation of the social network's terms of service.

A Wall Street Journal report cites Wonderhill's GreenSpot and RockYou's RockYou Pets games among those apps that transmit a MySpace user ID to advertisers as part of a web address sent when a user clicks an ad.

While MySpace user ID's are not necessarily linked to a user's real name and personal information, advertisers could use this user ID information to access any information the user has made publicly available. Advertisers including Google, Quantcast and Rubicon said they were not actively using the data.

A RockYou spokesperson told the Journal that the user ID sharing in their apps was an inadvertent result of a third-party service that the company uses, and that the company is "reviewing all third-party providers to ensure compliance with our platform partners' terms of service."

Last week saw many Facebook applications, including games published by LOLApps, taken down from the popular social network for more wide-reaching breaches of user privacy.

The Journal report found the data sharing among MySpace apps appears to be less widespread than that at Facebook, where all of the network's top 10 apps were found to be sending personally identifiable user ID data to outside companies.

Privacy concerns have been a major concern for online gaming companies of late, with Blizzard CEO Greg Canessa recently telling Gamasutra that his company was still trying to "wrap its head around" privacy issues. Facebook game publisher Zynga is the subject of a pending lawsuit over last week's Facebook privacy breach.

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