Private information of 100 million Facebook users has been gathered and published on the Web by a security consultant, according to BBC.
“Ron Bowes used a piece of code to scan Facebook profiles, collecting data not hidden by the user’s privacy settings.
The list, which has been shared as a downloadable file, contains the URL of every searchable Facebook user’s profile, their name and unique ID.
Mr Bowes said he published the data to highlight privacy issues, but Facebook said it was already public information.”
The file is reportedly spreading quickly around the Internet.
Officials from Facebook released a statement indicating the information in the list was already available online. “People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” read the statement.
The statement continues to read that information users agreed to make public was already collected by a single researcher and already exists on search engines like Google and Bing.
Watchdog company Privacy International tells BBC News that Facebook has been given ample warnings that a thing like this was bound to happen. Simon Davies, a representative from the company says, “Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it.”
BBC reports that earlier this year Facebook users protested the site complaining the privacy settings were too complex. In response to this, Facebook created more simple privacy controls.
The popular social media site, now with over 500 million users, has a default setting for privacy, but BBC concludes, “People have to make a conscious choice to opt-out of the defaults.”
Are you using default privacy settings on Facebook? Your personal information could be public on the Web. Take control of your privacy. You own it!