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As a general rule, use caution when using third-party applications.Remember that it is difficult to control what information they are gathering, how they might use it, and who they will share it with.Users may also mistakenly assume that third-party applications are held to the same standards as the primary social network There are also “rogue” applications which do not follow the policies and terms that govern applications.(See Consumer Reports' Apps that bite)Some facts to keep in mind when considering using third-party applications: In some instances, once they have received permission from a primary user, the third-party applications may also gain access to the personal information of users’ contacts without those contacts granting explicit permission.This is often done through behavioral advertising, also known as targeting.Behavioral advertising is the term used to describe the practice of tailoring advertisements to an individual’s personal interests.There are several concerns regarding behavioral advertising: Within the context of social networking, “third-party applications” are programs that interact with a social network without actually being part of that social network.
Social networking can be used to keep in touch with friends, make new contacts and find people with similar interests and ideas.
Information leakage also occurs in mobile online social networks, according to Privacy Leakage in Mobile Online Networks, another study by Krishnamurthy and Wills.
To learn more about cookies and how to browse the Internet safely and privately, see PRC Fact Sheet 18: Privacy and the Internet.
This practice is appealing to marketers because targeted advertisements are more likely to result in a purchase by a viewer than comparable non-targeted advertisements.
They are valuable to social networks as they can be sold at a higher price than regular ads.
While this and other similar bugs are usually quickly fixed, there is great potential for taking advantage of leaked information.