Personal IDs transmitted via social network's games and apps

MySpace apps sharing user data

MySpace apps and ads have been transmitting user data to third party companies six months after the social networking site pledged to end the practice.

An investigation by the Wall Street Journal uncovered the practice, both back in May and again last week, which has seen apps like TagMe by BitRhymes Inc., GreenSpot by WonderHill Inc. and RockYou Pets by RockYou Inc. sending MySpace user IDs to advertising companies like Google Inc., Quantcast Corp. and Rubicon Project.

A substantial portion of the information passed on was also sent after MySpace users clicked on adverts within the site.

The data sent on allows companies to observe all the information kept on a person’s MySpace profile page. With the exception of WonderHill, which did not comment, the firms receiving the information have all said that they did not make use of it.

In the case of information transmitted by RockYou Inc., the action seems to have been accidental. A spokeswoman for the company said that information forwarding to third-parties had occurred without RockYou’s knowing.

"We have taken immediate action to indefinitely suspend their services in connection with RockYou and we are reviewing all third-party providers to ensure compliance with our platform partners’ terms of service," she said.

A BitRhymes spokesperson said it "has a strict policy of not passing personally identifiable information to any third parties. When we were informed of the issue, any suspect relationship was immediately dissolved."

The event is strongly reminiscent of larger ID leaks from rival social networking site Facebook, which were also recently uncovered by the Wall Street Journal.

MySpace and the Wall Street Journal are both owned by News Corps.

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