Facebook 'bug' exposes details of 6m users

A glitch in Facebook's data archives meant personal details that should have been private went public, putting the privacy of around six million users at risk.

Facebook has admitted it failed to detect a software glitch that endangered the privacy of several million users.

It meant the email addresses and phone numbers of around six million Facebook users were exposed to people they would normally be invisible to.

The problem, which has since been fixed, was spotted in Facebook's data archive by a programmer from outside the company.

Facebook said in a statement it was "upset" about the incident, which is thought to have resulted from human error and not a malicious attack.

Part of the statement read: "At Facebook, we take people's privacy seriously and we strive to protect people's information to the very best of our ability.

"We implement many safeguards, hire the brightest engineers and train them to ensure we have only high-quality code behind the scenes of your Facebook experiences.

"Even with a strong team, no company can ensure 100% prevention of bugs, and in rare cases we don't discover a problem until it has already affected a person's account.

"After review ... we've concluded that approximately six million Facebook users had email addresses or telephone numbers shared."

The company has paid out an undisclosed sum as a reward for the programmer who discovered it and is now in the process of notifying affected users by email.

Although Facebook said it was "embarrassed" by the bug, it did not issue an apology.

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