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Facebook did it again - just a bunch of bad programmers?
Monday - Jun 24th 2013 - by - (0 comments)

There have been several times I doubted the ability of Facebook's developers to release stable and working applications. Besides general annoyances of the Facebook app for Android and bugs on the original website, I also wrote about the following issues:

Bugs like these can happen, don't get me wrong. But Facebook's developers cannot be reached to submit a bug. Once I found a contact form after having searched for around 20 minutes. I informed them about a bug in their RSS import script - I never got an answer or a bug acknowledge. As the site changes all the time, I am sure the link has changed several times since.

Now the next issue happened last weekend when I got the following e-mail:

Dear Claudio,
Your privacy is incredibly important to everyone who works at Facebook, and we're dedicated to protecting your information. While many of us focus our full-time jobs on preventing or fixing issues before they affect anyone, we recently fell short of our goal and a technical bug caused your telephone number or email address to be accessible by another person.
The bug was limited in scope and likely only allowed someone you already know outside of Facebook to see your email address or telephone number. That said, we let you down and we are taking this error very seriously.
Describing what caused the bug can get pretty technical, but we want to explain how it happened. When people upload their contact lists or address books to Facebook, we try to match that data with the contact information of other people on Facebook in order to generate friend recommendations. Because of the bug, the email addresses and phone numbers used to make friend recommendations and reduce the number of invitations we send were inadvertently stored in their account on Facebook, along with their uploaded contacts. As a result, if a person went to download an archive of their Facebook account through our Download Your Information (DYI) tool, which included their uploaded contacts, they may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers.
Here is your contact Information (inadvertently accessible by at most 1 Facebook user):
*******9551
We estimate that 1 Facebook user saw this additional contact info displayed next to your name in their downloaded copy of their account information. No other info about you was shown and it's likely that anyone who saw this is not a stranger to you, even if you're not friends on Facebook.
We recognize that mistakenly sharing contact info is unacceptable, even if you are acquainted with people who saw these details, and we've taken measures to prevent this from happening again. For more information on the bug, please read our blog post.
All of us at Facebook take this issue very personally. We appreciate your ongoing use of Facebook, and are working every day to deliver the level of service you expect and deserve.
Thank you,
The Facebook Team

Happy days... So my contact information was visible to everyone - although Facebook claims that "anyone who saw this is not a stranger to you". Sure. Now some people (including myself) might ask "Why the hell did you enter your phone number anyway?". Because it was necessary to confirm the account at some point. I don't remember if that was through the Facebook App for Facebook (meanwhile removed from my phone) or online for "security purposes".


 

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