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Lolapps games back on Facebook as developer appeals for calm

Platform Engineer Mike Vernal posts to development blog about unintentional sharing of UIDs

Games and applications from developer Lolapps are available for use on Facebook once more, as the issues with some apps inadvertently sharing user IDs with data mining and advertising firms continue to be dealt with.

A post on the company's blogsaid that all associations with the companies thought to be leaking data to others have been severed and that all games are operational as of now.

Users of Facebook have also been encouraged to trust the service in a developer blog post by Platform Engineering team member Mike Vernal, who said that press response to the issue has blown it out if proportion, and that the leaked UIDs would be of little threat to anyone's privacy.

"We take user privacy seriously. We are dedicated to protecting private user data while letting users enjoy rich experiences with their friends. This more social Web will only occur if users trust that they are in control of their information."

"Press reports have exaggerated the implications of sharing a UID. Knowledge of a UID does not enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent," Vernal said.

"Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy.

"We have experience addressing this sort of issue previously, although the technical challenges here are greater. We are talking with our key partners and the broader Web community about possible solutions. We will have more details over the course of the next few days."

Part of Vernal's post also seems to echo sentiments expressed by Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick earlier today, when the executive appealed for a higher level of trust among users in order to promote a better service for everyone.

Facebook privacy issues had been raised at the weekend after an investigation revealed that technical issues had lead to many of Facebook's most popular games and applications leaking User IDs to outside organisations - which had in some instances passed them on to data mining companies. The IDs reportedly allow users to be identified, leading to concerns that the data could be combined with other sources to build profiles of users.

It's not the first time that Facebook's technology has been exploited to allow external agencies to obtain user IDs, as earlier this year it emerged that advertising agencies were able to infer the data from click-throughs.

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Dan Pearson