If you’re on Instagram, you’ll want to read this. Facebook just screwed up your privacy.
But what else is new?
Like IBM before it, Facebook is one of those colossal companies that got really huge, really fast and used that bulging bank account to buy the rivals they couldn’t beat.
Then they folded them into the existing business model.
Instagram is no different. Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 for a cool billion dollars. The Guardian asked readers, way back then, why Zuckerberg would be willing to drop $1B on Instagram.
Here’s one cynical, but possibly accurate reply:
@GuardianUS @guardian Metadata. Facial recognition, location data, friend lists etc. huge mine of information for them to target.
— Simon Harper (@simon_harper) April 9, 2012
That was 2012. In light of what we’ve learned about Herr Zuckerberg since then, it’s a pretty solid guess, eh? What do you think? Don’t answer just yet.
It turns out Facebook hasn’t been any more careful with the private information of their IG users than they have with their own. From Facebook’s own blog:
As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems. This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way.
To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity. (Update on April 18, 2019 at 7AM PT: Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed).
Yet another Facebook Fail.
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