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Facebook games shut for privacy breach

FarmVille accused of passing on user data.

A number of popular Facebook games were temporarily shut down this weekend amid claims they had been transmitting user data to advertisers and internet tracking companies.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars and Texas HoldEm Poker were among the apps that had been harvesting user information.

All of the top 10 most used apps on Facebook were cited, with three of them, FarmVille included, accused of selling information about users' friends as well.

If the claims are true it would be in direct contravention of Facebook regulations. Indeed, a number of titles by developer LOLapps were disabled over the weekend for being in breach of Facebook terms.

A Facebook spokesperson claimed, "Our technical systems have always been complemented by strong policy enforcement, and we will continue to rely on both to keep people in control of their information."

A spokesperson for FarmVille developer Zynga denied any wrongdoing, insisting, "Zynga has a strict policy of not passing personally identifiable information to any third parties. We look forward to working with Facebook to refine how web technologies work to keep people in control of their information."

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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