Symantec Says It Has Found Facebook Information Leak

Social network finds “no evidence” that private information was shared.


Security software firm Symantec said Wednesday that it discovered a leak in Facebook applications -- now numbering nearly 100,000 -- that allowed third parties to access users’ accounts.

Symantec said those third parties, notably advertisers, “accidentally” have had access to profiles, photographs and chat as well as the ability to post messages and “mine personal information.”

A Facebook spokesperson said that the social network has found “no evidence” that private information was shared with unauthorized third parties.

“We appreciate Symantec raising this issue, and we worked with them to address it immediately. Unfortunately, their resulting report has a few inaccuracies,” the spokesperson said.

“In addition, this (Symantec) report ignores the contractual obligations of advertisers and developers, which prohibit them from obtaining or sharing user information in a way that violates our policies.”

Symantec said the third parties might not have been aware that they had this access.

The subject of data security is red hot. Sony's PlayStation and Qriocity online services have been down since April 20 after a hacker accessed accounts of as many as 77 million users. Information from an additional 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment users might also have been compromised.

Symantec suggested that concerned Facebook users should change their password as a precaution.