It seems as though the LOLapps/Rapleaf saga has some reaching complications for a number of developers who either knowingly or otherwise passed User ID information on to third parties. Those that Facebook has targeted will be denied access to communication channels for the next six months. According to Facebook HQ, these targeted developers were found to have accepted compensation for the data they’d gathered via the aforementioned third parties.
According to the Facebook statement, the information that was sold to third parties was not private, yet still an infraction against the social networking platform’s privacy policies. Mentioned in the same statement, Facebook says that this communications blackout will affect less than a dozen developers, all of them relatively small, and none in the top ten applications rankings.
As mentioned above (and multiple times throughout the WSJ expose), and according to Inside Facebook, this ban also applies to LOLapps. While LOLapps directly only serves around 15 million users, remember, they also run a white label service that operate a wide variety of other apps, thus serving many more than just 15 million users.
However… and this is where things get interesting. LOLapps’ latest title, Ravenwood Fair, is not affected by this communications ban. You’ll also remember that the Wall Street Journal article that blew the whistle on these UID sale specifically targeted the ten most popular apps on Facebook. Now, you can’t mention top apps on Facebook and not mention Zynga in the same breath. In fact, Nancy Graf of St. Paul, Minnesota has filed a class action lawsuit against Zynga over the situation. Oddly enough (or not), there’s been no word regarding Zynga being cut off from communications.
In other words, is Facebook merely making an example of these smaller firms to send a warning shot across the bow of those that would consider selling data gathered from Facebook? You decide. But keep in mind, the Zynga/Facebook relationship is so engrained that silencing Zynga would be akin to the proverb, “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.”
In a more positive light, Facebook is reporting that they’ve reached an agreement with Rapleaf that states the data collection firm will delete every Facebook UID it has previously collected. Likewise, Rapleaf has committed to carrying on no further activities on Facebook in the future.
Facebook has also instituted a new encryption to UIDs, with developers having until the first of next year to implement the solution.