Facebook Embarrassed over Glitch Allowing User Contact Details to be Leaked
Facebook has landed up with egg on its face after a bug in its system allowed the email addresses and phone numbers of more than 6 million users to be accessed by other people on the platform.
The leak occurred in the part of Facebook's system that allows it to generate friend recommendations based on the personal contact details added by users - those accessing Facebook's Download Your Information (DYI) tool were thereby mistakenly provided the contact info.
Discovered by Facebook's White Hat Programme which was established to collaborate with external experts to ensure sound security standards, the DIY tool was deactivated to fix the glitch, however not before the contact details of 6 million users were shared.
It is not thought the data leak was malicious, merely an error. Facebook have made a public apology and admitted it is "embarrassed" about the glitch. It claims no other information such as financial or personal details were leaked, and no information was revealed to advertisers or developers.
In a statement on their blog, the social network giant commented: "Although the practical impact of this bug is likely to be minimal since any email address or phone number that was shared was shared with people who already had some of that contact information anyway... it's still something we're upset and embarrassed by, and we'll work doubly hard to make sure nothing like this happens again."