Last Friday, an official post on Facebook’s computer security blog revealed that a bug on the site had produced a security flaw in which emails and phone numbers of 6 million Facebook users were exposed. The most worrisome thing of all is that this security flaw could possibly date back as far as a year ago, but it wasn’t until just recently that the Facebook engineers discovered the problem.
The problem came about due to bug with the “Download Your Information” tool, a feature that allows users to download their entire Facebook activity, and view all their public posts. In some cases it seems that when a Facebook user went to download that information, it also included personal information about other users, even though they had never shared that info publicly. This is because certain information is used by Facebook so it can send friendship recommendations, and that data was indexed within the previously mentioned DYI packet data.
Those who were affected will be notified by email throughout the next few days, and Facebook emphatically stated that no one has been able to access any other important data, such as banking information, or email passwords. On another note, this is just another example that shows how vulnerable digital media are, and how unreliable they are to protect information, even when it is managed by one of the most powerful companies on the Internet.