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  (Source: andrewmccants.com)
As of April 2011, Symantec estimates that almost 100,000 applications were allowing this leakage

It's no secret that Facebook has had some privacy issues in the past. Around this time last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that, "people online today just don't have the same expectations of privacy online anymore," to which many disagreed.

Now, Symantec has announced that the personal information of Facebook users may have been leaked accidentally to third parties over the last few years.

"We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage," said Symantec in its official blog. "Over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties."

According to Symantec, the third parties were advertisers that would have had access to user information like photographs, chat and profiles. They could even post messages if they wanted to. But Symantec also added that third parties might not have even known that they were able to access the sensitive information. 

Of course, Facebook didn't take these claims lying down. Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich released a statement saying that Symantec's accusations disregarded the "contractual obligations of advertisers and developers," which restricts them from acquiring or spreading this information in a way that infringe on Facebook policy. She also noted that Facebook has removed the outdated Application Programming Interface (API) that Symantec had mentioned.

"Unfortunately, their (Symantec's) resulting report has a few inaccuracies," said Lucich. "Specifically, we have conducted a thorough investigation which revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user's private information being shared with unauthorized third parties."





"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis






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