Sometimes I just have to shake my head.
Players of Facebook games appear to have had their trust violated by Zynga and some other social gaming providers. It turns out that Facebook has a flaw that allowed these companies to collect personal information on players of games like Farmville. Zynga then allegedly sold this data to a third party market research company which then ‘accidentally’ released that data to other companies. Hmmm.
I recently gave some of the social games on Facebook a bit of a go, but found them very lacking. There were three I tried out, City of Wonders, Farmville, and a space empire 4X style game. Of all three, only the 4X game (can’t remember the name off hand, sorry) kept my interest for any time. Both City of Wonders and Farmville insist on inviting Facebook friends in order to progress. While some players obviously don’t mind that, if your friends don’t respond to game requests (noone responded to my CoW requests… awwww) then there is no way to progress. So not my cup of tea.
Anyway, it now bothers me that since I spent some time playing these games, there is a likelihood that my personally identifiable data is now in the hands of some marketing dude because an unscrupulous company broke the rules. And it’s not just the Facebook users who have lost here. Facebook itself has taken great pains to improve it’s handling of user data. Zynga screwed Facebook over here.
Should Facebook users have an expectation of privacy when playing social games on the Facebook network?
Should Facebook ban Zynga?