Facebook developers sold User IDs

Facebook has revealed that app developers for the platform have been selling user-identifying data to a data broker.

The anti-social time-wasting site confessed on its developer blog that it had discovered that in "some instances" a data broker was paying developers for user IDs.

"While we determined that no private user data was sold and confirmed that transfer of these UIDs did not give access to any private data, this violation of our policy is something we take seriously," the outfit said. "As such, we are taking action against these developers by instituting a 6-month full moratorium on their access to Facebook communication channels, and we will require these developers to submit their data practices to an audit in the future to confirm that they are in compliance with our policies."

Facebook said the move "impacts fewer than a dozen, mostly small developers, none of which are in the top 10 applications on Facebook Platform," [our italics].

But it said that developers "may sometimes need a way to share a unique identifier outside of their application with permitted third parties, such as content partners, advertisers or other service providers."

Advertisers are permitted third parties? Is there anything worse?

Facebook insists it has "never sold and will never sell user information". It claims data brokers, "undermine the value that users have come to expect from Facebook."

Quite what that value is remains to be determined.