Facebook truly does not appear to comprehend personal privacy or security

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Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

Another day, another Facebook personal privacy issue.


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook’s track record for personal privacy defense, currently much reviled, simply took 2 more important hits. 

On Thursday, the social media stated it discovered that countless Instagram passwords had actually been kept in plain text, an insecure format that would permit the tech giant’s workers to read them if they wished to. The brand-new figure is orders of magnitude higher than a preliminary quote of 10s of countless unsecured passwords that was exposed in March.

The news, which was eclipsed however not obscured by the release of the Mueller report, followed a post stating that Facebook, Instagram’s moms and dad business, had “unintentionally” gathered the e-mail contacts of about 1.5 countless its users over the previous 3 years. The activity was found when a security scientist discovered Facebook asking users to enter their e-mail passwords to confirm their identities when registering for accounts, according to Business Insider, which formerly reported on the practice. Those who entered their passwords saw a pop-up message stating Facebook was “importing” their contacts, although the service had not asked authorization, according to BI.

The occurrences mark simply the current in a raft of problem for the social networks giant, which is having a hard time to combat the understanding that it can’t grasph the idea of securing your details. Facebook has actually made a pitch to lean more into personal privacy and messaging, however continues to be pestered by one error after another. 

Facebook acknowledged both lapses.

“We will be notifying these users as we did the others,” Pedro Canahuati, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, security and personal privacy, stated of the unsecured Instagram passwords by upgrading a month-old article. “Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.”


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Facebook typically hashes and encrypts passwords so that even its own employees can’t see them. That helps ensure that user passwords are protected. The company discovered that hundreds of millions of passwords were stored in plain text after a routine security review in January.

Separately, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that 1.5 million people’s contacts had been collected without users giving permission since May 2016.

“Last month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “When we looked into the steps people were going through to verify their accounts we found that in some cases people’s email contacts were also unintentionally uploaded to Facebook when they created their account.

“We’ve fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported,” Facebook said, adding that the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and are being deleted. It also pointed out that users can review and manage the contacts they share with Facebook in their settings.

Facebook is also notifying hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users and tens of millions of other Facebook users who had their passwords exposed internally.

As the world’s largest social network, Facebook controls data on more than 2 billion people, and who has access to it. The company’s data-handling practices were called into question in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, during which the personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users was improperly accessed.

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