Facebook let their users down on the brink of 2013 as privacy setting flaws led to the termination of the Midnight Messenger application.
Jack Jenkins, IT student from Aberystwyth University, stumbled upon Facebook’s newest blunder when he viewed a private festive message by accident. Jenkins reported the flaw, after which the shutdown of the service followed.
“I just wanted to share this. I don’t know how a site like Facebook can continue to take these kinds of risks. PLEASE Don’t go deleting random messages, but try and delete one of mine that I set up especially if you want,” the warning posted by Jenkins on his personal blog said.
The private viewing of the messages had been discovered by a typo of the official site’s URL.
“I was very surprised to find that this had been overlooked by Facebook, as it’s such a simple security hole,” Jenkins told the Guardian.
The Midnight Message Delivery application was set up for the convenience of festive Facebookers to connect at the stroke of midnight between 31 December and 1 January.
Ordinary Facebook messages sent from Facebookers’ inbox have not been exposed to other viewers as the Midnight Message Delivery app was run from a separate web address.
The social community has taken some privacy issue flack when Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s sister, complained about the publishing of one of her Facebook photos.
In light of these events, Facebook’s announcement of new privacy settings, as reported by HumanIPO, by the end of 2012 is particularly ironic. Privacy shortcuts and enhanced app permission are part of the new security upgrades.
Meanwhile, legislation against the business infiltration of personal Facebook accounts in the United States was passed on December 31, for 2013 activation. The new laws by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) also aims to protect school kids from bullies and consumers from spam.