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Windows 7: Facebook unintentionally uploaded 1.5 million users email contacts

18 Apr 2019   #1
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 
Facebook unintentionally uploaded 1.5 million users email contacts

Quote:
Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million users without their knowledge or consent when they opened their accounts.

Since May 2016, the social-networking company has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users new to the social network, Business Insider can reveal. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was "unintentionally uploaded to Facebook," and it is now deleting them.

The revelation comes after pseudononymous security researcher e-sushi noticed that Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities, a move widely condemned by security experts. Business Insider then discovered that if you entered your email password, a message popped up saying it was "importing" your contacts without asking for permission first.

At the time, it wasn't clear what was happening — but on Wednesday, Facebook disclosed to Business Insider that 1.5 million people's contacts were collected this way and fed into Facebook's systems, where they were used to improve Facebook's ad targeting, build Facebook's web of social connections, and recommend friends to add.

A Facebook spokesperson said before May 2016, it offered an option to verify a user's account using their email password and voluntarily upload their contacts at the same time. However, they said, the company changed the feature, and the text informing users that their contacts would be uploaded was deleted — but the underlying functionality was not.

Facebook didn't access the content of users' emails, the spokesperson added. But users' contacts can still be highly sensitive data — revealing who people are communicating with and connect to.

While 1.5 million people's contact books were directly harvested by Facebook, the total number of people whose contact information was improperly obtained by Facebook may well be in the dozens or even hundreds of millions, as people sometimes have hundreds of contacts stored on their email accounts. The spokesperson could not provide a figure for the total number of contacts obtained this way...


Read more: Facebook uploaded 1.5 million users email contacts without permission - Business Insider


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18 Apr 2019   #2
Brds7t7

Win 7 Ultimate, Win 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)
 
 

Colour me shocked! (He said sarcastically)
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18 Apr 2019   #3
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote:
(Update on April 18, 2019 at 7AM PT: Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed).

Read more: Keeping Passwords Secure | Facebook Newsroom
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18 Apr 2019   #4
ranett

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brds7t7 View Post
Colour me shocked! (He said sarcastically)

Wasn't this the same group who wanted user's banking records?
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18 Apr 2019   #5
iNiffy

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
What Kind Of Information

What kind of information is on the user contacts?
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18 Apr 2019   #6
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1
 
 

How do they unintentionally do that? Also how does gathering email addresses help them with targeted ads? They want to collect more and more information about us.
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24 Apr 2019   #7
Brds7t7

Win 7 Ultimate, Win 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iNiffy View Post
What kind of information is on the user contacts?
Depends on what the user decides to add to each contact. But could include home numbers, mobile numbers, addresses, email addresses, IM usernames.

I don't know how much of the contact info was uploaded though, but knowing Facebook it would be everything.
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24 Apr 2019   #8
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Glad I ditched that platform of crap. But it seems a lot of Apps you install communicate behind your back to Facebook so I've read.
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28 Apr 2019   #9
Brds7t7

Win 7 Ultimate, Win 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)
 
 

I joined it in 2008 (I think), and ditched it around 2014. Absolutely no regrets at all. The people I keep in touch with have other ways of contacting me anyway.
I never installed any Facebook apps on my phone anyway. Too many permissions. I just used the mobile or desktop websites (with some privacy extensions installed).

While I did have my privacy locked down on there, I didn't install any apps on it, never connected other accounts to Facebook, and shared zero of my private life on it - I still regret ever opening a Facebook account!
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28 Apr 2019   #10
goodlad

windows 7 ultimate x32
 
 

use FB only for my work purposes & I have an habit of setting unique password for each & every single social media site & others. So even if someone cracks it, not an big issue, I don't use it for something that needs secrecy.
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 Facebook unintentionally uploaded 1.5 million users email contacts




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