Facebook privacy issues going viral

by | Sep 25, 2012 | News

Users report private messages appearing in timeline

By Erin Eaton and Katherine Ward

Some Facebook users across the globe are claiming that private messages from 2008 and 2009 are publicly viewable on their timeline.

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An article about the issue was first posted by Metro France before spreading rapidly across the web.

Facebook admitted old messages were reappearing on profiles, but were quick to deny that a privacy breach had occurred.

The incident has raised many questions about the public’s understanding of Facebook’s privacy settings, including new features that have been recently added to the site.

As of late last week, Facebook members can view their search history and delete searches they do not want Facebook to retain. The feature is part of Facebook’s Activity Log, which lets members of the social network see what information Facebook has stored about them.

At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is in the process of building a search-related tool using the data it has already collected about its members.

Reports have been surfacing about Facebook’s relationship with Datalogix—a Colorado-based company that specializes in collecting data from retailers using customer loyalty cards, and connecting those purchases to advertisers.

Datalogix may be linking loyalty card holders to their Facebook accounts using shared information such as email addresses. Through this comparison of information, Facebook can figure out if users who view ads on the site purchase the promoted items.