First published: 31st July 2009
However, the incidents highlight the fact that not all advertisers obey the rules, and might get away with it for some time before being reported. Facebook does have a wide range of options for users to control how their information is used, perhaps too many separate controls and it is often unclear what each option affects. Facebook applications also take advantage of social pressure - friends 'invite' you to join them in using new applications, each of which requires access to your personal information, and it feels like insulting a friend to reject the requests.
Facebook and other social networking sites have grown enormously by playing on people's dislike of appearing anti-social, but will they face a downturn as people become more aware of how their information is misused?