New Privacy Charges Leveled At Facebook

The latest charge leveled against Facebook, which is facing a torrent of criticism over its privacy practices: The WSJ reports that the social network sent “personally identifiable” data to some advertisers about who was clicking on their ads, contrary to its privacy policy, which states that it doesn’t share user information with advertisers “without your consent.” Facebook says the practice was very limited and it has since stopped. Also unlikely that advertisers accessed the information or even knew they had it.

But no matter. It adds to the growing perception that the site doesn’t care about user’s privacy and adds more fuel to privacy advocates’ contention that the site needs to make changes to its policies. (In fact, Facebook has already said it will make some adjustments soon).

Some consolation for Facebook: The WSJ piece explains that most of Facebook’s competitors, including MySpace (NYSE: NWS), are guilty of similar practices, although they have shared potentially personally identifiable information about the profile page a user is viewing when he clicks on an ad, instead of information about the ad clicker himself.

That could help offset any momentum MySpace has gained from the announcement of its its soon-to-launch un-Facebook like privacy settings, which will give users control over who can access all the information on their profiles.