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Facebook bugs debunks private chats
Category : General 06 May 2010 02:06 AM | Industry News
A Facebook spokesperson said that a bug in the system had revealed private information "for a limited period of time", and that engineers had disabled the chat function while a fix was carried out.
To exploit the now-patched hole, people had to manipulate "in a specific way" the site's feature that lets members preview how their profile looks to each of their friends, Facebook said Wednesday on its official corporate page on the site.
A bug allowed Facebook users to view their friends' chat sessions on the site, prompting the social-networking company to disable its internal instant-messaging service. The bug also let people see their friends' pending friend requests
"We worked quickly to resolve this matter, ensuring that once the bug was reported to us, a solution was quickly found and implemented," a Facebook spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
The incident comes as 15 consumer groups filed a complaint about Facebook's privacy settings with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Earlier this month, consumer groups stepped up criticism of Facebook when the company added facilities to enable users to tell their friends about products and websites they like.
While adding those tools, Facebook altered how a user's profile information is classified and disclosed, disclosing information that users previously restricted, according to the complaint.
Facebook said the company could not comment until after it reviewed the complaint to the FTC.
The bug comes at a time when privacy concerns regarding Facebook have heated up, after the company recently introduced features that allow third-party Web sites to tap into users’ profile data to personalize their experience for them.