Facebook bug exposes private emails

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Facebook bug exposes private emails

Addresses were visible for up to 30 minutes.

Facebook has been hit by another privacy scandal after an apparent technical glitch led to the site disclosing the private email addresses of its users.

The privacy mishap, which according to reports lasted for half an hour yesterday, was discussed by angry users on Twitter.

"Last night during Facebook’s regular code push, a bug caused hidden email addresses to be visible briefly,” said a Facebook spokesman.

Although Facebook maintained that the bug was noticed and corrected within minutes, this was not quick enough for some eagle-eyed users, who warned others via Twitter.

“Everyone’s email addresses are now visible on Facebook, even those of people who are not your friends,” said Twitter user atakan.

“Check your Facebook profile your email will be exposed to the public. There is no privacy settings to hide your email,” said another Tweet by isatwhoville.

Facebook has been repeatedly criticised for jeopardising its users' privacy.

New privacy settings introduced at the end of last year faced significant opposition from digital rights groups and users.

Before the changes, users had the option to expose just a limited profile of themselves or remain hidden altogether. But the modifications meant that more details contained in users' profiles were publicly displayed by default, including their picture, current city, list of friends and fan pages.

The company had to then change the settings to allow users to hide some of the friend list data, although V3.co.uk continued to notice faults in its privacy settings.

Outgoing US Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour complained earlier this month that too many social networks are pushing the boundaries when it comes to consumer privacy concerns.

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