Facebook "Accidentally" Uploaded Emails of 1.5 Million Users

Facebook

Now we have confirmation from Facebook those contact were stored.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that before May 2016, it offered an option to verify a user's account and voluntarily upload their contacts at the same time.

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it may have "unintentionally uploaded" email contacts of 1.5 million new users since May 2016, in what seems to be the latest privacy-related issue faced by the social media company.

Before May 2016, new Facebook users were asked if they wanted to verify their identity using their email account.

The social network has admitted it collected 1.5 million users' email contacts without their consent. It will also notify users that are affected by this issue. But besides asking users to go about it through a multi-step process as is the case for many web services, Facebook also allowed these users to enter their email account passwords directly inside a container on Facebook in order to verify that they actually own the email address.

A person holds a smartphone with the Facebook logo in front of displayed "top secret" and "email" words, in this picture illustration taken December 6, 2018.

Last year, the company came under fire following revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, obtained personal data of millions of people's Facebook profiles without their consent.

The issue is the latest to make trouble for Facebook. Facebook claims it changed the feature and removed the text stating the contact information was being uploaded, but the underlying code that performed this task accidentally remained. Prior to those changes, users were given the option to upload their email contact lists when opening an account to help them find friends already on Facebook.

Earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported that the website had asked new users to hand over email account passwords when signing up to the platform-a big cybersecurity no-no.

"Facebook has not disclosed the full extent such access might grant, nor have they provided any indication of how harvested emails might be used", Mackey added.

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