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Data broker paid app developer for Facebook user information

The social network did not identify the data broker that was purchasing user information.

A data broker has been paying application developers for identifying Facebook user information, the social networking site said in a company blog post on Friday.

The site also added that it has placed some errant developers on a six-month suspension from its site because of the practice.

"This impacts fewer than a dozen, mostly small developers, none of which are in the top 10 applications on Facebook Platform," the company added.

Earlier last month, the US media reported about how several popular Facebook apps were transmitting user IDs -- which can be used to look up users' names and names of the app user's friends to 25 advertising and data firms.

The social network did not identify the data broker that was purchasing user information, but said it had reached an agreement with Rapleaf, a US data aggregation company that was previously identified as receiving some user information.

Rapleaf has reportedly agreed to delete all user identification information in its possession and to stop any further activities on the social network.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.