It seems like a month or two don't pass without Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook experiencing a censorship or privacy related scandal. Earlier today the social media platform admitted that it "unintentionally" uploaded the e-mail contacts of 1,5 million users without the users consent.
These e-mail contacts were uploaded as part of Facebook's now apparently discontinued method of e-mail password verification as an option for people who were verifying their account on the social media platform they were signing up to Facebook for the first time.
"When we looked into the steps people were going through to verify their accounts we found that in some cases people's email contacts were also unintentionally uploaded to Facebook when they created their account. We estimate that up to 1.5 million people's email contacts may have been uploaded. These contacts were not shared with anyone and we're deleting them. We've fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported. People can also review and manage the contacts they share with Facebook in their settings," said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement.
Facebook was harvesting new users' e-mail accounts contacts
This admission by Facebook comes barely a month after a security researcher who goes by the name e-sushi revealed that Facebook was asking some new Facebook users for both their e-mail addresses and login details to their e-mail accounts.
After user's entered their e-mail account's password on Facebook, e-sushi observed that a message would appear notifying users that Facebook was "importing" your contacts. This import happened without not only asking the user for permission, but also the option to opt-out of it.
It has been quite a few years from hell from Facebook since 2016. It all started just before the USA's 2016 Presidential elections where it was revealed that Facebook was censoring some journalists on its news feed and then it was later revealed that the platform allowed several thousands of Russians to buy Ads on Facebook to promote fake news in the hope of influencing the elections. This was then followed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal which detailed how a marketing company used user data to microtarget users with politically motivated Ads.
As each scandal comes to surface, it seems they each reveal that there's a certain way Facebook operates which is not in the interest of its users. This is unlikely to change for as long as Facebook relies heavily on advertising in its business model.
Cover image credit: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook.