Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Facebook Glitch Exposes Contact Information for 6 Million Users

A bug in Facebook’s systems has exposed email addresses and phone numbers belonging to 6 million of its users, including many who explicitly told Facebook not to share such information. The glitch existed for more than a year, but has now been fixed by Facebook.

Reuters reported, “Facebook blamed the data leaks, which began in 2012, on a technical glitch in its massive archive of contact information collected from its 1.1 billion users worldwide. As a result of the glitch, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have. Facebook’s security team was alerted to the bug last week and fixed it within 24 hours.”

BBC News added, “An investigation into the bug showed that contact details for about six million people were inadvertently shared in this way. Despite this, Facebook said the ‘practical impact’ had been small because information was most likely to have been shared with people who already knew the affected individuals.”

According to ZDNet’s Violet Blue, “The personal information leaked by the bug is information that had not been given to Facebook by the users – it is data Facebook has been compiling on its users behind closed doors, without their consent. A growing number of Facebook users are furious and demand to know who saw private information they had expressly not given to Facebook.”

In other Facebook news, The Wall Street Journal’s Evelyn M. Rusli wrote, “Facebook Inc. is aiming to become a newspaper for mobile devices. The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.”

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