Facebook 'hijack any live chat' serious bug forces downtime

Summary:Facebook chat is experiencing downtime due to a serious breach in privacy, where any user can view the live chat window for any of their friends.

Steve O'Hear, former ZDNet blogger, now turned TechCrunch reporter, posted earlier today a serious breach in Facebook privacy, allowing any user to view one of their friend's live chat window.

The video, taken by O'Hear shows him accessing his own privacy settings - ironically - through the site, and previewing how his profile looks to his friends. With this, it allows the live chat under way to be viewed by that person.

This is yet another blow to Facebook's privacy issues. Only last week, I wrote about content issues which, when the user 'deletes' an image or video uploaded to the social networking site, the content does not get removed from their server.

Similarly, Jason Perlow wrote the other day in regards to his ongoing issues with Facebook; most definitely worth a read. The Electronic Frontier Foundation published last week a timeline of Facebook's eroding privacy issues, highlighting how far the site will go to strip every bit of your profile down to its own use.

TechCrunch rightfully notified Facebook of this issue, and all Facebook chat users will notice that the service is down due to maintenance. The presumption is that Facebook is trying to fix this issue, yet no word from them on this. No doubt they are trying to fix it before even more media outlets cover this shocking and gross breach of privacy.

Frankly, I truly hope that soon the authorities investigate the site for reasons relating to content and breaches in privacy. I am utterly appalled and disgusted that this could even happen - let alone be reproduced so simply using their own in-house privacy settings tool.

Will this latest breach in privacy and security deter you from using Facebook, or will it put you off the site altogether?

Topics: Social Enterprise, Legal, Security

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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