June 24, 2013
You may have heard about a Facebook leak that revealed the private info of over 6M of its users, including their phone numbers, and you would think that was be bad enough, but another shocking fact has since come to light.. Something a lot more sinister.. Facebook has your phone number, even if you did not provide it to them.. EVER. It’s something called a “shadow profile.”
Trusted ZDNet reported the following shocking news,
The personal information leaked by the bug is information that had not been given to Facebook by the users – it is data Facebook has been compiling on its users behind closed doors, without their consent.
A growing number of Facebook users are furious and demand to know who saw private information they had expressly not given to Facebook.
Facebook was accidentally combining user’s shadow profiles with their Facebook profiles and spitting the merged information out in one big clump to people they ‘had some connection to’ who downloaded an archive of their account with Facebook’s Download Your Information (DYI) tool.
According to the admissions in its blog, posted late Friday afternoon, Facebook appears to be obtaining users’ offsite email address and phone numbers and attempting to match them to other accounts. It appears that the invisible collected information is then being stored in each user’s ‘shadow profile’ that is somehow attached to accounts.
Users were clearly unaware that offsite data about them was being collected, matched to them, and stored by Facebook.
Looking at comments on Facebook’s blog and community websites such as Hacker News, Facebook users are extremely angry that the phone numbers and email addresses that are not-for-sharing have been gathered and saved (and now accidentally shared) by Facebook.
Dare I say this is about the final straw for Facebook.