Facebook revealed that it has harvested and uploaded 1.5 million users email contacts who sign up for the social network since 2016.
The email address was scrapped when Facebook asks users to enter their passwords who signed up for new accounts to verify their identities.
Facebook Spokesperson confirmed that, 1.5 million people’s contacts were collected this way, and fed into Facebook’s systems, where they were used to build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend friends to add.
It was still unknown whether these contacts are used for ad-targeting purposes. Facebook says the data was “unintentionally uploaded to Facebook,” and now deleting them reported Businessinsider.
The social media giant said that they didn’t realize the activity up to April of this year and starting from last month the company stopped offering email password as a verification option.
Facebook said that the data was mistakenly collected and has not been shared with anyone outside of Facebook. The social media giant preparing to notify all the affected 1.5 million users.
This incident indicates, once again Facebook failed in protecting the user data, they stored hundreds of millions of users password in plain text instead of masking it as a human-readable format.
Starting this month, upguard found third-party Facebook app datasets that include comments, likes, reactions, account names, FB IDs exposed to the public Internet.