Facebook Bug Inadvertently Exposes Contact Details Of 6 Million Users

It’s been what you might call a ‘mixed’ few days for Facebook. On Thursday the social network proudly unveiled video for Instagram, which resulted in over 5 million clips being posted in the first 24 hours of availability. Then Facebook dropped the ball… In an unrelated event Facebook inadvertently shared the contact details – in this case email addresses or telephone numbers – of 6 million users.

The security breach was traced back to a software bug that somehow affected two of Facebook’s features – “People You May Know” and “Download Your Information”. In a bizarre amalgamation of those two features, when someone downloaded their Facebook archives with the latter, they would also find some ‘bonus data’ – contact information for the people Facebook thought they may know, irrespective of whether or not any friend requests had been sent by either party.

The privacy breach was discovered by a security researcher who did the right thing and reported the bug to Facebook, which in turn said that there was no evidence of any malicious exploitation of the bug before it was found. The social network explained further in a post on the Facebook Security page that the service has been deactivated and that it is notifying government regulators to the problem.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Facebook, especially given users’ heightened sensitivity to any perceived privacy violation in the wake of the PRISM revelations. You may wish to download a copy of your social newtork content in case anything were to happen – and let’s face it, plenty of accidents have already happened in this regard. SocialSafe is the only backup tool that gives you total control and privacy with your data – only you ever hold a copy, and it is stored on your own PC/Mac.

To take back control of you personal data from the social networks, get SocialSafe now and start downloading your content to your own machine. We never see nor store your data, so you can be safe in the confidence that everything you back up really is 100% private.

About Andrew Robertson

I'm Andrew, I work as the Social Media & Marketing Assistant at SocialSafe. I've been writing blogs on here for over two years now, so you'll find pieces from me about anything relating to social media and tech, as well as the changing face of personal data. There's also room for the occasional post on some slightly off topics stories... just for the sake of variety!!

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