From Facebooks Terms of service:
Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
As far as who the information is sold to- who cares? Your data has been bought, sold, traded, bargained and raped LONG before facebook even came into existence. Its just a little easier to send a zip file online than a few stacks of paper over snail mail. The moment you opened up a credit card, bought a house, went to school, went to college, were born, died- all that information exists in a public domain and has been bought up, parsed compiled and there exists a digital file somewhere of "you" It may or may not have your name, but you can bet it has all the other data on it. Now, is it right? Depends. If you have submitted data to the "public sphere" then you have it coming to you. I myself, don't mind if the data I conciously provide is used. All they have is a name, an email address (which I use specific for social networking) my age and geographic location. Beyond that they may be able to piece together some complicated logic scrips to pull out some of my likes and dislikes (oh, and yes, facebook sells that tidbit of data when you click on something saying you like pickels, or hate cats- why wouldn't they?).
I'm going to pause on that tantrum (as I expect a plethora of responses and picking out of lines i've written for rebuttal and move to an alternate way to look at things:
What if the ad's you saw online were suddenly realevant to you? You got ads for upcoming software releases, music events for bands I actually want to know about, cheap computer parts or even low air fares to my favorite destinations. All of a sudden I am being given marketing data that I actually might be interested in. Like turning on the TV and having really awesom comercials for products I give a rats ass about. At the end of the day, that is what marketing firms are doing here. They are not taking your data so they can make sure the only ads you get are for pampers diapers and coupons for grade C tuna fish that expired last year.
Anyway, enough of my playing devils advocate. I am a champion of privacy- but I also understand why and how my data is shared- I just make a point to control what data I put out into the world. Others should take this mindset too.