100 million Facebook users privacy compromised

The
personal details of more than 100 million Facebook users have been harvested
and published on the net.

Ron
Bowles, an online security consultant, used a simple piece of code to collect
the data from Facebook.

The
list, which has been shared as a downloadable file, contains the URL of every
searchable Facebook user’s profile, their name and unique ID.

Mr
Bowles said he published the data to highlight privacy issues, but Facebook
said it was already public information.

The
file has spread rapidly across the net.

On
the Pirate Bay, the world’s biggest file-sharing website, the list was being
distributed and downloaded by more than 1,000 users.

One
user, going by the name of lusifer69, described the list as “awesome and a
little terrifying”.

Facebook
issued a statement saying “People who use Facebook own their information
and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when
they want.”

“In
this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by
a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines,
as well as on Facebook.

“No
private data is available or has been compromised,” the statement added.

But
Simon Davies from the watchdog Privacy International said Facebook had been
given ample warning that something like this would happen.

“Facebook
should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent
it,” he said

“It
is inconceivable that a firm with hundreds of engineers couldn’t have imagined
a trawl of this magnitude and there’s an argument to be heard that Facebook
have acted with negligence, he added.

Mr
Davies said that the trawl of data fed into “the confusion of the privacy
settings”.

“People
did not understand the privacy settings and this is the result,” he said.

0
0

NO COMMENTS