Facebook leaks 6 million users' details with year-long bug

Download Your Information tool goes wrong and adds random user details

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.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags FacebookInstagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Martin

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?