Facebook has been under a lot of pressure, and it seems that the company will get into more trouble in the future. The company harvested email contact data from over 1,5 million accounts in the past of the last three years. The hidden act was discovered when a research analyst observed that the social network asked some users to enter their email passwords during account creation, under the claim that their identity has to be verified.
Those who opted to enter their data received a pop-up message which stated that their data was being imported, without asking for permission before the process began. The information was confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson, who noted that the method was used to consolidate social connection between users and recommend potential friends.
It was also mentioned that email password verification was offered as an option for those who created their first Facebook account. While the primary purpose was to limit the number of fake accounts which can be created it was observed that the email contacts were also uploaded to Facebook in some cases.
Facebook collected more than 1.5 million email contacts
People whose contacts were imported will receive an email which explains the situation and the data will be deleted. The spokesperson underlined the fact that the data wasn’t shared with anyone else and users will always have the option to manage the contacts shared with Facebook by visiting the settings page.
With more than two billion active accounts Facebook is without a doubt the largest social network in the world. In recent years, many voices criticized the ads model used by Facebook. Some believe that ads shouldn’t be targeted and the simple act of offering companies the opportunity to provide personalized ads shows that Facebook doesn’t care about the privacy of its users.
Reports published in December 2018 revealed that Facebook allowed companies like Spotify and Netflix to access a more significant amount of user data in comparison to other entities. The company strives to correct all of these flaws, but it is likely that more scandals will surface in the future.