The personal details of 100 million Facebook users have been published in a single place by security consultant Ron Bowes, who says he wanted to draw attention to the social-networking site’s privacy problems. Bowes used code to scan users’ profiles for public info and collected it in a downloadable file. The list has already been downloaded by a thousand users on the site Pirate Bay, a massive file-sharing site. Facebook says the information in the list—every searchable users’ URL, name, and unique ID—is already public information, so no private data has been compromised. Privacy watchdogs say Facebook should have anticipated a trawl of this size and made default settings err on the side of more private.
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