Facebook: Oops, technical flaw exposed 6 million users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses

“Facebook has inadvertently exposed six million users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses to unauthorized viewers over the last year, the company said late Friday,” Reuters reports.

“Facebook blamed the data leaks, which began in 2012, on a technical flaw in its huge archive of contact information collected from its 1.1 billion users worldwide,” Reuters reports. “As a result of the problem, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have.”

Reuters reports, “Facebook’s security team was alerted to the problem last week and fixed it within 24 hours. But Facebook did not publicly acknowledge the flaw until Friday afternoon, when it published a message on its blog explaining the situation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Faceplant.

But, lets face it, if you’re doing the Facebook thang, privacy is not among your highest priorities.

Related articles:
AT&T discontinues HTC’s ‘Facebook phone’ flop after just one month – May 13, 2013
Study finds link between number of Facebook friends and ‘socially disruptive’ narcissism – April 10, 2012
Facebook is stupid and for old people – April 10, 2012
Facebook Fatigue: Has Facebook peaked? – December 12, 2011


  1. “As a result of the problem, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have.”

    It would be interesting to learn how many Facebook friendships are broken over the snafu.

  2. Meanwhile, way to go MDN for keeping yourselves absolutely lock tight about your identities.

    I think it’d be interesting to hear from readers what personality you imagine when you read MDN takes…as in, male/female/youngish/older/hip/nerdy

    MDN, please don’t ever reveal. 🙂

      1. Yes. The “Facebook security team.” How many folks get warm or fuzzies from this description?

        IMO I am confident, confident these professionals are of the highest ethics and standards.

  3. How anyone uses Facebook is the wonder? Who needs the NSA when there is Facebook? Oh wait, Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook execs big Obama donors. Makes sense now the Facebook disregard of privacy of its users.

      1. Haha, yes it’s bizarre reading from an outside perspective. Surely even American conservatism is about deregulation, so why anyone thinks a Republican president might have prevented this is beyond me! The global financial crisis was caused by the US and spread across the world. While the US economy has recovered, other countries are still suffering, so if I were American I’d be fairly happy with Obama’s performance. I can’t really see how Obama can be blamed for a technical mistake at Facebook!

      2. Yeah, just like GW Bush was being accused of all the evil in the world. Funny how this sort of thing seems to come around and make full circle.

    1. Yes, because Zuckerberg’s blatant and total disregard for individual privacy is demonstrably and undeniably linked to President Obama. (I think you should cut back on the drugs.)

      As for Facebook … yeah. That site is like a leaky colander for personal data. I mean, I know I use a fake name on there, disable location-sharing, and put very little personal info up, but even then … I’m mostly fooling myself.

      Sadly, our entire society has decided to exchange individual privacy for convenience and the perception of social status.

      1. Since the main purpose of Facebook is to connect friends and family and you are using a fake name and no personal info, exactly what are you doing with it?

        1. Um, connecting with friends and family? When I say “fake name,” I mean something that people who actually know me can easily identify, but strangers, potential employers, or academic institutions cannot identify as belonging to me. And anyone I want reaching me either already has my contact info, or I can give it to them. But I’m not so stupid as to throw that onto Facebook or similar services where it can easily end up in the wrong hands.

          It’s no different than using a screen name: it’s something that the people who know me know, but grants a sense of anonymity/identity protection from outsiders. Even if it’s all in my head, it gives me a little more peace of mind.

  4. Had Mitt Romney, or anyone else, won the last US presidential election, it is conceivable that he would not have permitted such egregious excesses.

    It’s conceivable that he would have challenged the cult of secrecy as inimical to the American sense of fair play, as corrosive to the Bill of Rights, as further entrenching an already self-entitled bureaucracy, and as undermining the robust capitalist basis of national prosperity. (Paraphrasing the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

    It’s conceivable. Kind of.

  5. The Hardy-Har-Har here is how much Facebook has taken pains to sell itself as ‘secure’, protecting its customers. Obviously wrong. User privacy is exposed either by design (for marketing purposes in particular) or blunder, as seen here.

    If you put it on the Internet, expect the world can see it. 🙁

  6. If anyone imagines for one second that a change of President and party would make the slightest difference to what is happening in North America as regards intrusions into personal security, then they’re either staggeringly naive, or they’re in a state of permanent denial, and as a wise man once said, ‘denial is not a river in Egypt’
    I use Fb extensively, but I’m not in the slightest bit worried about my personal details being exposed, because I don’t put any on there. Simple answer, really, and one that shouldn’t be beyond the most half-witted Internet user.

    1. You are assuming that no one has the capability to connect the dots between your “impersonal” facebook account and your other internet activity, bank accounts, job, etc. etc.

      Perhaps you should read the newspapers.

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