When Facebook revamped its applications platform to mesh the external and internal social graphs two weeks ago it lead to considerable consternation amongst its users. But on Wednesday it faced a mini scaled crisis when a bug allowed users to access other people’s profile, ongoing chat sessions and pending friend requests.
Over the years, Facebook has evolved into a giant in Social Networking, currently having billions of accounts of people from all over the world. Thus, it caused quite a stir when it got discovered that people’s accounts and their personal data was vulnerable to prying eyes and unruly intents. For a limited time, a bug permitted users to see ongoing chat and pending requests of people by manipulating the ‘view my profile’ option. This meant that any conversation, confidential or not, could be accessed by people on your ‘friendlist’.
As soon as the reports of bug were intercepted, Facebook took prompt action and pulled down its internal instant messaging services temporarily. The problem was fixed and chat service was resumed quickly.
This incident however throws up a lot of questions. For one, it will be interesting to know that with increasing number of users and its constant attempt to revamp the site to fit the demographics, I wonder how secure does the website remain? While paradigms shift almost every day, how much attention do the companies pay to customer’s security and confidentiality? Sure they acted fast, and resolved the issue quickly, but the fact is that something like this happened, and in all probably will get repeated again. So how safe is it for users to store personal data on their accounts?
With increasing number of people joining the site everyday, the stakes are rising considerably. In such a scenario, how safe is it for users to trust their personal information to Facebook? We can only sit back and watch. Till then, it will be safe to not to use Facebook, or for that matter any other social media to store your personal data. It’s really ‘a crazy world out there.’