It was discovered that the world’s largest and most popular social networking site was inadvertently obtaining phone numbers from its users without their consent. Symantec this week revealed that Facebook’s mobile application was sending individual phone numbers from Android users over the Internet to its servers. The security firm explained that users were not required to “provide your phone number, log in, initiate a specific action, or even need a Facebook account for this to happen.” According to statistics from Google Play, the Facebook app has been downloaded between 100 million and 500 million times in the past 30 days. Symantec notes that a “significant portion of those devices are likely affected” by the problem. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Symantec that it has investigated the issue and will provide a fix in a future update. As for the phone numbers, the company claims it did not use or process the information and has since deleted them from its servers.
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