News Roundup: Facebook struggles to overcome another wave of privacy criticism
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News Roundup: Facebook struggles to overcome another wave of privacy criticism

Facebook password scandal

Oh Facebook, what are we going to do with you? Forever the misbehaving school child who, no matter how many times you put them on the naughty step, gets right back out there and launches another spitball. No matter how badly behaved all the other social networks are, you can always rely on the fact that how ever you've messed up, it'll have nothing on what Facebook's done.

This week: STORING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PASSWORDS IN PLAINTEXT FORMAT ON INTERNAL SYSTEMS. C'mon, Facebook. Get it together.

Initially, the statement from the social media site claimed that during a recent security review, it "found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format." In the next paragraph the company goes on to clarify that "some" actually means "hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users."

The passwords were stored in plaintext on Facebook's internal servers, meaning engineers and other employees with the right level of access could have viewed them at any point. Although the company claims that there's no evidence that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed the logs, it once again raises questions about Facebook's supposed commitment to privacy. One "senior Facebook insider" told Brian Krebs, the security reporter who first discovered the error, "access logs showed some 2,000 engineers or developers made approximately nine million internal queries for data elements that contained plaintext user passwords".

Facebook has reportedly now fixed this particular issue, as well as some problems the company has discovered in other security features. How reassuring for us all.

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Charlotte Trueman

Charlotte is Staff Writer at IDG Connect. She is particularly interested in the impact technology will have on the future of work and promoting gender diversity throughout the tech industry.

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