Social Networking Like a Social Flare

Private data is one thing, but now a study says social networking makes you trackable – geographically.

In an article on the ComputerWorld website, Sharon Gaudin says that a study out this week from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts shows that mobile social networks are leaking private information to third-party tracking sites, including data about users’ physical locations.

The study looked at 13 mobile online social networks, including Brightkite, Flickr, Foursquare, Gowalla and Urbanspoon, as well as traditional online social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter, which users can use on their mobile devices.

“The researchers found that all 20 sites leaked some kind of private information to third-party tracking sites,” says the article. Only two networking sites directly gave out location information, but several “use a third-party map service to show the user’s location on a map.”

To read the ComputerWorld article, click here: Social_networks_leak_your_information_study_says