Facebook privacy problem – some details and a video

Facebook appears to have fixed the problem with their site which meant it was sharing members’ birthdates even if they had set their privacy settings to hide the information from everyone.

In tests I conducted this morning it was no longer possible to view other people’s dates of birth unless they had given explicit permission to share the information. Of course, why anyone would want to publish their birthday on Facebook is beyond me (shouldn’t your friends know when your birthday is?), but that’s for another discussion.

Update 16 July 2008:

I’ve posted some details of the specifics of what was going on on Facebook’s site on the SophosLabs blog. You can also view the video I made on Monday night demonstrating that it really was child’s play to look up other…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.