Another Day, Another Facebook Mishap

This past week it came out that Facebook had unintentionally been sending their weekly app emails to the wrong people. Add this to the list of Facebook mishaps in 2018.

These emails contain business metrics, like new users, average users, and page views for each application. Instead of sending these emails exclusively to analysts, developers, and admins, Facebook accidentally released this information to application testers. Testers generally operate outside these app companies and so could have sold this mishandled information to competing firms.

Overall Facebook has been quick to take ownership of this blunder, stating it affected 3 percent of apps that use Facebook Analytics data. They’ve said no personal or contact information was released – which is good.

Facebook has resisted giving the exact number of apps affected, though they are currently notifying all of them with the message below:

“Due to an error in our email delivery system, weekly business performance summaries we send to developers about their account were also sent to a small group of those developer’s app testers. No personal information about people on Facebook was shared. We’re sorry for the error and have updated our system to prevent it from happening again.”

This privacy mistake is reminiscent of the Cambridge Analytica scandal because it brings to light how Facebook manages data between users and third party developers. Recent errors also show how lightly Facebook takes user privacy on the platform.  

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