Technology blog TechCrunch was tipped off to a major security hole in the social networking site that enables users to view their friends' live chat.
“Using what sounds like a simple trick, a user can also access their friends’ latest pending friend-requests and which friends they share in common,” explains O'Hear. “That’s a lot of potentially sensitive information.”
Concerned about the privacy implications, TechCrunch has contacted Facebook and made them aware of the situation. Since being informed about the security hole it appears that Facebook's live chat feature has been taken offline. Many users are now seeing a message that reads “Chat is down for maintenance at this time.”
Facebook did not respond to an email enquiring about the security hole.
The news is yet another blow to Facebook's tarnished privacy reputation. Long-term users who feel betrayed by Facebook's continually changing privacy policies are starting to question if the company isn't trading user privacy for web dominance and profit.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of many organizations that is becoming increasingly concerned about Facebook's new privacy settings. On May 4 the EFF published an article that explained the six things that you need to know about Facebook connections -– the feature that is “at the heart of some of the worst of Facebook's recent changes.”
The article explains what the changes mean for users, including the fact that Facebook does not respect your old privacy settings when it comes to sharing your Connections with third parties and continues to store and use your Connections even after you delete your profile information.
To read more about Facebook's new changes visit: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/05/things-you-need-know-about-facebook
A video of the security flaw in action can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny8ui4delEo&feature=player_embeddedReuse content