Facebook Engulfed in New Privacy Scandal

Facebook Engulfed in New Privacy Scandal
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company has discovered another data privacy problem.

(CCM) — Facebook has been rocked by another major problem after an internal audit discovered that hackers have been exploiting one of the social network's features, the BBC is reporting.

The feature in question allows Facebook users to search for other users by typing an email address or phone number into a search box. Hackers have been using the feature to harvest users' public profile information and match it to contact details which have been obtained elsewhere, the report says.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said that a huge number of Facebook users will have been affected by this. "It is reasonable to expect that if you had that [default] setting turned on, that in the last several years someone has probably accessed your public information in this way," he said.

The company has also admitted that the data of up to 87 million Facebook users may have been wrongly shared with Cambridge Analytica, considerably more than the 50 million users that had previously been quoted. The data was harvested by a Facebook app called "This Is Your Digital Life," which was installed by about 305,000 unsuspecting Facebook users. 97% of these users were based in the U.S.

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