Facebook has admitted that a year-long glitch has resulted in 6 million users' personal details being exposed.
The social networking giant said that a 'technical glitch' in its huge archive of contact information which has more than 1 billion users in it. The error meant that users who downloaded contact data for their list of Facebook friends gained addition information including phone numbers and email addresses. See also: Instagram launches video to rival Vine app.
Essentially what happened is that some users who were using the Download Your Information (DYI) tool to retrieve an archive of their information were receiving the details of recommended people on Facebook by mistake.
The information was provided by other people on the site and wasn't 'necessarily accurate' the firm said. The data was also not connected to any Facebook users or the names of individuals. See also: How to get Facebook Home on your Android smartphone.
The firm said that after the security team reviewed and confirmed the problem, it was immediately disabled and the DYI tool was back online the following day.
Facebook said: "We currently have no evidence that this bug has been exploited maliciously and we have not received complaints from users or seen anomalous behavior on the tool or site to suggest wrongdoing."
"Although the practical impact of this bug is likely to be minimal since any email address or phone number that was shared was shared with people who already had some of that contact information anyway, or who had some connection to one another, it's still something we're upset and embarrassed by, and we'll work doubly hard to make sure nothing like this happens again." it added.