Facebook & MySpace's Privacy Loophole

10:40 AM -- Social-networking privacy concerns continue to build today as The Wall Street Journal uncovered a loophole in Facebook and MySpace 's privacy policies.

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:

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is selling iPads at a rate of 200,000 per week in the US -- outpacing sales of Mac computers and gaining on sales of the iPhone 3GS, an analyst told AllThingsD. Of course, another analyst, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, warns that iPad sales may be stifled by a lack of supply, as the 3G iPad, especially, sells out across the country.

  • Stanford University is opening a "bookless library," replacing its Physics and Engineering libraries with a single building half the size of the previous Engineering library. Stanford opted to go digital for the new library -- which will offer four Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindles for use on-site -- because, well, it's running out of room for all of its books (the university buys 100,000 per year). "Most of the libraries on campus are approaching saturation," Andrew Herkovic, director of communications and development at Stanford Libraries, told Mercury News. "For every book that comes in, we've got to find another book to send off."

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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