International World Facebook admits to harvesting millions of email contacts without users' consent

Facebook admits to harvesting millions of email contacts without users’ consent

Facebook in hot water again after compromising privacy of about 1.5mil users as well as their contacts.

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In the latest privacy issue concerning Facebook, the social media giant admitted on Wed (Apr 17) that it “unintentionally uploaded” the email contacts of 1.5 million users that signed up since May 2016.

A security researcher noticed how Facebook used to request the email password of users who signed up for the first time. The security glitch consisted of a pop-up message saying contacts are being “imported” even without the user’s permission.

According to a statement from Facebook, the issue was caused by a glitch that has already been fixed. The company added that the contact information were not shared with anyone and that Facebook is currently “deleting them.”

Last March, Facebook no longer sent email password verification methods for people initially signing up for the site.

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In a report by Business Insider, Facebook admitted that they used the data to improve targeted advertisements and friend suggestions, and to build a bigger social web of connections.

Recently, Facebook was in hot water for allegedly storing user passwords “in a readable format” within their data storage systems. More than 20,000 Facebook staff had access to the passwords and accounts of 600 million Facebook users.

Facebook was also revealed to have stored hundreds of millions of users’ private data in Amazon’s cloud servers where the data can be accessed and downloaded by the public.

Security experts and governments have condemned Facebook for its violations of privacy. Despite the numerous privacy breaches and the global consequences that resulted from them, Facebook has only been fined a measly amount compared to its total net worth./TISG

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