Facebook constantly has to deal with security and privacy issues. This time is no different. The company now has to explain how 1.5 million email contacts of users were “accidentally” uploaded. They belonged to users signing up to the social networking service.
The social networking platform had collected these contacts over a two-year period. In the process of deleting the contacts from its servers after, it announced unintentionally uploaded them.
Earlier in April 2019, users noticed that, sometimes, Facebook asked users to verify their identity by entering their email password. Once users do this, the platform will then show a screen message saying Facebook was importing their email contact list. This it does without getting approval from the user.
Facebook is yet to disclose how many contacts it uploaded but indications suggest that it added millions of contacts to its servers. This is to allow it to expand its network of users and improve recommendations.
Spam email coming up
In a statement earlier in the week, Facebook said it stopped offering email password verification as an option for account verification for first-time subscribers in March 2019. It added that it realised that they unintentionally uploaded some email contacts of new users to Facebook upon account creation.
Facebook estimates the email contacts uploaded at about 1.5 million. It went on to insist that the information, now deleted, has not been shared with anyone so far. It also said it has fixed the underlying issue and is notifying people whose contacts imported. They advise that users review and manage their contacts with Facebook in their settings.
This now seems to be a regular bleep for Facebook. About a week ago personal data of half a billion Facebook users were reportedly left exposed to third-party apps. In December 2018, likewise, a bug revealed the private photos of about 6.8 million Facebook users to third-party apps. And the Cambridge Analytica scandal still stands to be the biggest one till date.