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But who else can see it, and what exactly is visible?Entities that collect personal information for legal purposes include: Social networks that provide their services without user fees make a profit by selling advertising.(See The Value of Behavioral Targeting by Howard Beales, sponsored by the Network Advertising Initiative)Social networks collect a lot of information about potential customers, which advertisers are very interested in using.In some ways, this may be useful to the user because the advertisements he or she sees may appear more relevant.There are several concerns regarding behavioral advertising: Within the context of social networking, “third-party applications” are programs that interact with a social network without actually being part of that social network.These applications take many forms but some typical and popular forms include: Some social networks allow program developers to access their platforms in order to create these applications.While this and other similar bugs are usually quickly fixed, there is great potential for taking advantage of leaked information.
Remember that it is difficult to control what information they are gathering, how they might use it, and who they will share it with.This practice is appealing to marketers because targeted advertisements are more likely to result in a purchase by a viewer than comparable non-targeted advertisements.They are valuable to social networks as they can be sold at a higher price than regular ads.Social networks themselves do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information that has been uploaded to a profile, even when those posts are set to be private.This was demonstrated in one May 2010 incident during which unauthorized users were able to see the private chat logs of their contacts on Facebook.
What do your long lost childhood best friend, your college roommate, your boss and your significant other all have in common?