Facebook Confesses Exposing Data Of 6 Million Users In An Year-Long Security Glitch

The social network that manages interactions of over 1.1 billion users, accepted on late Friday that it was subject to a Technical Glitch that inadvertently exposed data of over 6 Million users. What’s more appalling is the fact that the time frame of glitch spread over a year.


What happened? Owing to critical flaw that Facebook refers to as a ‘bug’, Phone Numbers & E-mail Ids of about 6 Million users were ‘Improperly Shared’. The official statement reads,

The bug may have allowed some of a person’s contact information (email or phone number) to be accessed by people who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them

Routine users wouldn’t be aware of this flaw solely because the bug was activated only when a user opted to download an entire archive of his or her Facebook Account through the social network’s Download Your Information (DYI) tool. Doing so, the tool appended the information, continued the security note, “They may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection

So, the figure of 6 million is essentially the number of users on Facebook who have ether mentioned or chosen to include their Phone Numbers & E-Mail Ids in their Profile. Additionally, this bug has an impact on people who have such users in their friend list, who chose to download the complete archive. Facebook is claiming that no malicious activity has taken place. They said, “We currently have no evidence that this bug has been exploited maliciously, and we have not received complaints from users or seen anomalous behavior on the tool or site to suggest wrongdoing.”

Social Media sites including Facebook have been subjected to multiple attacks in the recent past. Though the impact of such a glitch won’t affect users, it is nonetheless a matter of concern shared the statement, “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, or who had some connection to one another, it’s still something we’re upset and embarrassed by.”

Facebook acknowledged the bug & fixed it within 24 hours of realization earlier in the week, but chose to wait till Friday afternoon for the official announcement.

Image Courtesy |  gigaom

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