Despite the sites' promises not to share information such as users' names, ages, hometowns, and occupations with advertisers, they have sent user names or ID numbers to advertisers that would allow them to look up individual profiles and -- in some cases -- uncover this information, WSJ says.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s DoubleClick Inc. and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO)'s Right Media are among advertisers who have received user names and ID numbers, although both say they weren't aware they had access to users' personal data.
After WSJ contacted Facebook about the story, the site changed its software to fix this loophole. MySpace -- along with other sites implicated, such as Xanga and Digg -- instead defended this practice, explaining that, unlike Facebook, its user names are not required to be users' actual names, so it isn't giving away personally identifying information.
In other news:
— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable