Risk
4/27/2010
03:01 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Senators Seek FTC Rules For Social Networking

Facebook's expanded information sharing has prompted a call for regulation.

Four Senate Democrats have asked the Federal Trade Commission to develop guidelines governing the way social networking sites can use information submitted by users.

A letter sent to the FTC on Sunday by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and also signed Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo), and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) expresses concern about the sharing of information on social networking sites and the adequacy of the disclosure to users.

"I am asking the FTC to use the authority given to it to examine practices in the disclosure of private information from social networking sites and to ensure users have the ability to prohibit the sharing of personal information," said Schumer in a statement. "If the FTC feels it does not have the authority to do so under current regulations I will support them in obtaining the tools and authority to do just that."

The letter comes after Facebook last week announced major changes to the Facebook Platform and introduced a collection of APIs, plugins, and semantic markup mechanisms that promises to make Web sites deploying the technology more social and less private.

While Facebook provides users with a way to opt-out of its revised information sharing system, Schumer argues that the privacy controls on social sites are confusing and their willingness to make user information available to third-party sites puts users at risk of spam and scams.

An example of such confusion can be seen in the way Facebook allows the sharing of personal information even after the user has opted out of the new instant personalization feature. While a user may believe he or she has disabled the sharing of information by opting out, the user's friends may reveal information about the user through their own use of third-party apps that participate in the new Facebook system.

Facebook explains that to prevent friends from sharing one's information with partner applications like Microsoft Docs, Pandora, and Yelp, those applications must be disabled.

As if to hammer home the potential privacy problems, Google engineer Ka-Ping Yee on Monday found that Facebook's new Graph API exposed events that some users have said they'd attend. To demonstrate the problem, he posted a series of events attended by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has since fixed the hole, but a number of Google engineers have publicly deactivated their Facebook accounts as a sort of vote of no confidence.

Google has faced similar privacy problems with its Buzz social networking service.

Several years ago, Facebook confronted these same issues with its Beacon tracking system.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2208
Published: 2014-12-28
CRLF injection vulnerability in the LightProcess protocol implementation in hphp/util/light-process.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 2.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands by entering a \n (newline) character before the end of a string.

CVE-2014-2209
Published: 2014-12-28
Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.1.0 does not drop supplemental group memberships within hphp/util/capability.cpp and hphp/util/light-process.cpp, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging group permissions for a file or directory.

CVE-2014-5386
Published: 2014-12-28
The mcrypt_create_iv function in hphp/runtime/ext/mcrypt/ext_mcrypt.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 does not seed the random number generator, which makes it easier for remote attackers to defeat cryptographic protection mechanisms by leveraging the use of a single initial...

CVE-2014-6123
Published: 2014-12-28
IBM Rational AppScan Source 8.0 through 8.0.0.2 and 8.5 through 8.5.0.1 and Security AppScan Source 8.6 through 8.6.0.2, 8.7 through 8.7.0.1, 8.8, 9.0 through 9.0.0.1, and 9.0.1 allow local users to obtain sensitive credential information by reading installation logs.

CVE-2014-6160
Published: 2014-12-28
IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) 8.5 before 8.5.0.1, when Chrome and WebSEAL are used, does not properly process ServiceRegistryDashboard logout actions, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging an unattended workstation.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.