Report: Major Privacy Loophole Allowed Marketers To Access Closed Facebook Groups

The privacy problems never stop coming for Facebook. According to a report in CNBC this week, marketers were able to access information from a private group for breast cancer gene carriers using a Google Chrome extension. The tool, which allowed marketers to retrieve the names of people in private groups, was subsequently shut down by Facebook.

If insurance companies discovered that these women had preexisting conditions, the companies could offer worse discriminatory coverage. Of course, it’s also a highly sensitive medical issue that most people wouldn’t want companies or anyone outside of their immediate circle of friends and family to know.

The issue came to light when one of the group’s moderators became aware of a tool that let her download the personal information of all 9,000 members. Then she reached out to a security researcher to confirm, and once he did, he submitted a report to Facebook. While Facebook responded by closing this functionality, the company denied that the problem constituted a “loophole.”

“While we recently made a change to closed groups, there was not a privacy loophole,” a company spokesperson told CNET

Whatever Facebook’s technical definition of a loophole is, it’s clear this was an issue that badly needed to be addressed. And if it wasn’t for eagle-eyed users, it might not have been noticed at all.



Recommended Resources

bitdefender trafficlightBitDefender Traffic Light is a free cross-browser add-on that intercepts, processes and filters all Web traffic, blocking any malicious content and taking browser security to new levels.

PIAPrivate Internet Access is an award-winning, cost-effective VPN solution. The use of an anonymous and trusted VPN is essential to your online privacy, security and identity protection.

System Mechanic 14 – Make your computer run like new. Winner of 200+ Editor’s Choice awards!

Facebook Accidentally Labels 65,000 Users As “Interested” In Treason Previous post Facebook Accidentally Labels 65,000 Users As “Interested” In Treason Report: Facebook Protects Far-Right Activists, Doesn’t Care About Underage Users Next post Report: Facebook Protects Far-Right Activists, Doesn’t Care About Underage Users