Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) members are displeased and demanding an apology over the recent report of a privacy leak affecting their accounts on the website. The social network giant reported on Friday that a bug affected the accounts of 6 million users and exposed their personal contact information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
Facebook Inc (FB)'s Security Team Explains
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)'s security team explained that users who were affected by the bug were those who downloaded an archive of their Facebook account using the Download Your Information (DIY) tool. According to the social network giant, the DIY tool mistakenly provided the contact information of that person to those whom he or she have contacted previously or have a connection with.
According to the security team, the DIY tool was immediately disabled after evaluating and confirming the problem. The bug was resolved the following day. They also assured users that the bug was not used maliciously, and there was no evidence of anomalous behaviors or wrongdoing on the tool or the site. The company stated that it did not receive any complaints from users.
Many users were definitely upset with the bug despite the fact that Facebook’s security team resolved the problem as soon as possible, reported the incident to regulators, and promised to work hard to ensure that the incident will never happen again.
Granting that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) did not receive any formal complaint regarding the incident, many still expressed their upset with the site. For example, PJ Harrison wrote, “Nowhere did they say, I’m sorry. Just excuses. This is not acceptable…”
Dwight Touchberry also wrote, “Come on FB, This is unacceptable. I’m already getting calls from people I don’t know based on this breach. I too want to know who got this info.”
Users were becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy because of on-going reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting data by directly accessing the internet servers of many technology companies under the PRISM program.
Companies That Joined the PRISM Program
Some of the tech companies that join the PRISM program include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO), Google, Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), PalTalk (popular in Syria), YouTube, Skype, AOL, Inc (NYSE:AOL), and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).
During an interview with The Guardian, NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden said that the tech giants and other tech companies did not use their influence to bring about transparency regarding the spying program of the government. Google denied that the government has direct access to its servers, and pointed out that it does not have that capability. The search engine giant said information is delivered through secure FTP transfers and in person, and only if the NSA has requested it.