More privacy troubles for Facebook

Facebook — for reasons of apathy, negligence or worse — still cannot secure the private details of its users.

Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure.

This unlikely will be the last time that the personal details of Facebook users get exploited for company benefit. Since its earliest beginnings, Facebook has gobsmacked many with its profoundly cynical privacy policies. At first, people were outraged. Then they were just angry. Now, the site is so large and so popular, and it has been pimping its users’ data for so long, that news of more blatant privacy violations elicits hardly more than a sigh.

I guess Zuckerberg was right after all.