Facebook Pushes Further Into Mobile

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Facebook is a great source of that.” Altman’s demo of Loopt’s Facebook app crashed, though. He said the app was brand new.

Facebook’s merchant partners so far include Gap, which is giving away jeans to the first 10,000 people who check in on Facebook, and The North Face, which is donating $1 for every Facebook check-in to the National Parks Foundation.

Facebook’s Erick Tseng, who heads Facebook’s mobile business, declined to say how Facebook will make money off these new offerings, although businesses that offer deals can buy advertising through Facebook and direct it to their Facebook pages. Tseng said Facebook’s first goal is to build out an ecosystem of users.

Reporters at the event pushed both Zuckerberg and Tseng on privacy, asking whether users’ personal data would be shared, either accidentally or on purpose, by Facebook’s partners.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that some Facebook apps created by third parties were transmitting information on Facebook users and their friends l to advertisers and data brokers. A Facebook spokesman told the Journal that Facebook would fix the problem.

Both men said Facebook users retain control over their data and have to actively choose to share it. Tseng said apps that violate Facebook’s privacy policies are disabled and advised users to use “common sense.”

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Deborah Gage is a technology writer based in the Bay Area. Follow @

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