Myspace shares user data with advertisers

While the social notworking site Facebook has been getting bad privacy press, the less popular Myspace has been doing the same thing without anyone noticing or caring.

According to the Wall Street Journal, MySpace has been sharing data with its advertisers which can be used to identify user profile pages.

The company claims that the data does not identify a person, partly because MySpace doesn’t require members to use their real names. Other than those who do use their real names, but that is hardly MySpace’s fault, apparently.

The social networking site tells advertisers the user ID and the last page viewed before a user clicked on an ad.

The Wall Street Journal says some MySpace applications developed by outside parties had been sharing user IDs in violation of MySpace’s terms of use.

MySpace shares user IDs with application developers, it does not allow them to share that data further. However an app called “Tagme” had violated this prohibition, although after it was told off by MySpace the developer, BitRhymes, had “promptly complied”.

BitRhymes said in a statement the sharing “was inadvertently done by an advertiser company we worked with,” and said its policy was not to pass personally identifiable information to third parties.

Both MySpace and the WSJ are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International, so there might be an element of coming clean in the safety of your own home. However, Facebook has been given a kicking for much less, while MySpace manages to be the alternative home for those who don’t want their private details given out.