RockYou could land itself in some hot water, after having a suit brought against it alleging that the social app developer does not do enough to protect the contact information and passwords of its users. After a hacker accessed RockYou to tap into a database holding the email addresses and passwords of 32 million users, the class action suit was brought about by Alan Claridge, of Evansville, IN.
The California-based RockYou is facing charges of “recklessly and knowingly” leaving personally identifiable information unprotected by hackers, appearing to take ongoing measures to avoid the activity of the average hacker from getting into its databases.
Adding to the gravity of RockYou’s situation is the fact that social networks and other online tools have become so prevalent that many consumers tend to use the same or similar passwords for multiple services. Should a malicious hacker access the personally identifiable information of an individual through RockYou, they could use this information for a number of other services and likely be successful in getting into an individual’s other accounts.
Regardless of how the case turns out for RockYou, the suit itself raises a number of questions and concerns regarding the safety for users to trust third party applications from developers such as RockYou and others. many third party app developers are establishing themselves as platforms atop of larger platforms offered by social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter). The appeal of these apps is the ability to use them without having to create a new account, as they can utilize your log in information from sites like Facebook in order o access the necessary data.
In this growing cooperative environment, the information collected by multiple services ends up porting back into these larger networks, making an individual’s personal information more vulnerable to an attack. The result is a necessity for any peripheral access point, such as those offered by third party app developers, from letting hackers in.
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