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Facebook Bug Exposes Information on 6 Million Users

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Facebook (FB) says a bug in its system caused 6 million users' contact information to be inadvertently exposed.

The social media company said Friday that a bug allowed users' contact information, like email addresses or phone numbers, to be accessed by other users who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them.

Facebook said in a blog post that the cause of the bug is "pretty technical" but that the problem is tied to its "Download Your Information" tool.

The company uses the information that users upload to better tailor the friend suggestions it issues. The bug caused some of this information to be inadvertently stored in association with a person's contact information as part of the Facebook account.

As a result, if someone downloaded an archive of his Facebook account through the "Download Your Information" tool, he may have been provided with additional addresses or telephone numbers for his contacts or people with whom he has some connection. Because the contact information was provided by other people on Facebook, it was not necessarily accurate.

Facebook said it has fixed the problem and is in the process of notifying affected users via email.

The affected accounts represent only a fraction of the more than 1 billion users on the social media site.

Facebook, which is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., said that it had no evidence that the bug has been used maliciously and that it had not received complaints.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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