Facebook Privacy: Personal information has a price

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, if not the most popular. Millions of people from all across the globe use the website, not only as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, but also as a source of fun with the many applications available.

However, the personal information that many of us willingly – or unwittingly in some cases – give out to Facebook, can prove invaluable to its partners who then slice and dice the data to earn mega bucks, according to a recent pcworld.com article written by Narasu Rebbapragada.

It really does go without saying, that Facebook has unrestricted access to everything that you do concerning its site. The growing collection of connections, preferences and Facebook profile data, has prompted some experts to take a look at the value of the site.

For example, a recent article at mashable.com reported that SharesPost had suggested an unbelievable $11.5 billion value for Facebook, compared to a $1.4 billion value for the popular microblogging site Twitter and a $1.3 billion value for LinkedIn.

If you took a quick look through the website Openbook – which actually allows users to search for embarrassing Facebook status updates that almost anyone can view – it will show the amount of people who have their accounts set to broadcast status updates to everyone.

And to be honest, some Facebook status updates reveal far too much information. Also, people have to think about applications. While applications such as Texas HoldEm Poker and Café World can be fun, they do come at a cost of your privacy.

Once you accept a Facebook application such as Zynga’s FarmVille, it gets an all-access pass to all your profile data. The application actually runs through an iframe, which is a widely used HTML element that lets a site embed all its content onto the Facebook website.

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