On Facebook’s Developers blog, the world’s largest social networking company declared “zero tolerance” for data brokers, after a recent Wall St. Journal investigation revealed that some Facebook application developers have been selling Facebook users’ information to data brokering firms, reports ReadWriteWeb. Facebook has responded to this news by banning the developers engaging in this practice from the site for a period of six months. To regain entry, the companies will have to submit their data practices for an audit to ensure compliance or the ban will remain in effect. WSJ’s investigation, part of a series called “What They Know,” has been revealing (in a sometimes overly paranoid fashion) the ins and outs of how your personal information is being gathered by data brokers, bought and sold, and then used for targeting advertising purposes. In the case of Facebook, WSJ cautioned that “many of the most popular applications… have been transmitting identifying information – in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names – to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies.” The paper claimed that the issue affected tens of millions of Facebook app users…

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staff and wire services reports