How safe is your online social network? Not very, as it turns out. Your friends may not even be human, but rather bots siphoning off your data and influencing your decisions with convincing yet programmed points of view.
A team of computer researchers at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia has found that hordes of social bots could not only spell disaster for large online destinations like Facebook and Twitter but also threaten the very fabric of the Web and even have implications for our broader economy and society.
Norton has pinged Facebook for slurping Android users' phone numbers without their consent. The findings, posted here, were announced along with a new version of the company's Android security app.
Norton, which once famously blocked Facebook as a phishing site, says the updated Mobile Insight flagged Facebook for Android as leaking the device phone numbers, affecting a “significant portion” of the hundreds of millions of people who have downloaded the app from Google Play.
A bug on Facebook leaked email addresses and phone numbers provided by some 6 million people on the site to certain other users, the company revealed Friday.
What sparked the problem is a bit complicated. The bug caused some of the information that the social network stores to make friend recommendations to be inadvertently stored in association with people's contact information as part of their Facebook account, the company said Friday on its website.
With more than a billion monthly active users, it's easy to imagine that most of the data travelling over Facebook's networks is delivering photos, status updates and "likes" to its end users, but that's far from the case.
The social network moves about 1,000 times as much data between the servers inside its data centers as it does from its servers out to end users, company executives said Wednesday. They talked about the challenges that this creates for Facebook and the network technologies it's developing to overcome them.
Facebook and Microsoft each fielded thousands of requests for user data as part of law enforcement investigations from U.S. authorities in the second half of last year, they said late Friday.