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Massive Facebook fraud scare as website accidentally publishes dates of birth of millions of users

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David Derbyshire
UK Daily Mail
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Facebook was at the centre of a massive ID fraud scare yesterday after it accidentally published confidential information about its users.

In a huge breach of privacy, the social networking site disclosed the dates of birth of many of its 80 million active users – even if they had asked for the information to be kept secret.

Although the details have now been removed, there are concerns that internet fraudsters could use the information to commit identity theft.

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Facebook is one of the fastest growing and most popular services on the internet.

It allows people to create home pages devoted to themselves, and then swap pictures, news, trivia and gossip with a circle of friends, family or acquaintances.

Owners of a Facebook page can limit who has access to personal details such as dates of births, phone numbers, addresses and photographs.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

However, a test website of a new version of Facebook made available to the public this week included confidential details that should have been kept private.

The blunder was spotted by the computer security firm Sophos on Monday evening.

‘I was shocked to see people’s full date of birth revealed, even though I knew they had their privacy set up correctly to supposedly hide the information,’ said Sophos’ Graham Cluley who discovered the security slip.

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This article was posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 3:29 am

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