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Page last updated at 02:02 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 03:02 UK

Q&A: Facebook response

Following Click's investigation into the potential risk of identity theft by third-party applications on Facebook, the company gave the following response.

Facebook: All third-party developers building on Facebook platform are subject to technical and policy restrictions that strictly limit their collection, use and storage of profile information.

When a user adds an application, they agree to the Facebook platform Application Terms of Use, which allows the developer to make requests for access to the information in the user's profile, excluding contact information.

Users are strongly encouraged to report any suspected misuse of information to Facebook. Additionally, users can block individual applications from accessing any of their data, block all applications, or block individual types of information.

We have sophisticated technology and a dedicated team to address inappropriate activity by applications. Access by applications to Facebook user data is strictly regulated and if we find that an application is in violation of our terms and policies, we take appropriate action to bring it into compliance or remove it entirely.

Facebook is committed to user safety and security and, to that end, its Terms of Service for developers explicitly state that applications may not use adware, spyware, or other deceptive techniques. Users should employ the same precautions while downloading software from Facebook applications that they use when downloading software on their desktop.

Click: We appreciate that Facebook policy and terms and conditions may dissuade law-abiding net users. But for those who do not take notice, what does Facebook do to police its policies?

We do not understand how Facebook can protect users' data if it Is being routinely "sucked off" the site to non-Facebook servers?

Facebook: It is not just the policies that dissuade misuse, it is the fact that there is accountability for such misuse. Facebook has an entire Investigations Team that watches the site and removes content and third-party applications that violate Facebook's Terms of Use.

Facebook users also police the site and use the "report" button if they come across violators of our Terms of Use. We are constantly trying to improve efforts to increase accountability so that users can realise the benefits of third party applications and that those that attempt to abuse user trust are filtered out of the system.

Click: Is Facebook reconsidering at present its default security settings for applications at a level beyond day-to-day review?

Facebook: We regularly evaluate and adjust the security settings for third party applications to ensure that Facebook's Terms of Service are not violated.

We take the issue of privacy very seriously and continually strive to provide a trusted environment where users can join networks that are reflective of their real life communities.

Our privacy settings give users a great amount of control on Facebook, and we are constantly looking for ways to employ new methods to ensure user safety and security.


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