Sophos points out that Facebook has made yet another change to the way it handles your information: this time, allowing third-party developers access to contact information on Facebook.
But of course, most people aren't aware that this has always been possible, so they're suddenly envisioning FarmVille sending them paper brochures filled with new crop info, or phoning all their friends to ask why they haven't helped out on the farm lately. Maybe an automated call would help convince you to join the game and seek out that lost kitten?
And maybe those third party apps didn't realize they could do it either, and they're salivating over the extended marketing possibilities. Technically possible doesn't imply endorsed by Facebook the way putting the ability into the API does, so while getting this information might have been in the realm of sketchy scams before, now it's going to be considered a legitimate asset by more companies. After all, you consented when you installed the app. And remember, corporate assets do tend to be about making money, so don't assume they won't sell those lists.
So, while it was technically feasible before, maybe now is a good time to reconsider what data you keep within Facebook. And it's always a good time to re-evaluate which applications you have installed or will install. As always, I recommend that you don't leave anything on facebook you wouldn't want shared with the world, so now's a great time to delete your phone number and address from your facebook profile. And if you don't? Well, don't be too surprised when you start getting texts saying that someone needs help with their FarmVille crops.