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A “bug” did it.

PCWorld is reporting that Facebook has stopped quietly adding applications to users profiles (without permission) when they visited certain Web sites. A Facebook spokesman said a bug was responsible for it and the situation has been corrected.

PCWorld wrote: “If you visit certain sites while logged in to Facebook, an app for those sites will be quietly added to your Facebook profile. You don’t have to have a Facebook window open, you don’t need to be signed in to these sites for the apps to appear, and there doesn’t appear to be an option to opt-out anywhere in Facebook’s byzantine privacy settings.

“These apps appear to be related to Facebook’s sharing tools. The sites currently leaving this trail all have Facebook Connect integration, and the list includes heavyweights such as the Gawker network of blogs, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNET, New York Magazine, and

“It isn’t entirely clear what information these apps are pulling from user profiles or feeding back to Facebook.”

Although Facebook has stopped the practice, apps that have been added remain and Facebook members will need to remove them:

Account (top right corner of Facebook) | Application

Click on the “X” to the right of the app. (If there are no x’es, you’re good.)

Story here: “New Facebook Social Features Secretly Add Apps to Your Profile (Updated)”

This story is drawing a load of attention, none of it good PR for Facebook. One friend of a friend on my FB commented: “All your base are belong to Facebook.”

Jason Perlow, on his Tech Broiler blog on ZDNet has written a useful piece about securing your Facebook account here.

For some reason it seems to be written upside down with tips about linking Twitter to your Facebook account and tips on RSS feeds first. The most useful basic information is at its end, so, we recommend reading it from the bottom.

Tom Kelchner