Facebook's Privacy Snowball Keeps Rolling

Call it the "snowball effect," or maybe the "witch-hunt" effect. At some point, when a company is under fire for something, even the smallest piece of evidence that it might be guilty of that thing can get blown out of proportion. Exhibit A is Facebook and the recent news—reported somewhat breathlessly by The Wall Street Journal, of all places—that the social network sent personally identifiable information to advertisers, after saying that it doesn't.As Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb has noted, this story is a tad exaggerated. The fact is that lots of Web sites transmit information via the URL of a page, because that's the way modern Web browsers work. In some cases, Facebook seems to have accidentally included user IDs in the URL string when someone clicked on an ad, and according to The Journal has now changed the way it handles those links as a result of the paper's inquiries.

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