Since May 2016, Facebook has collected the email contacts of a million and a half users without their knowledge or consent. Mark Zuckerberg's social network claims, however, that he did not do so intentionally and ensures that he will erase the stored data.
According to Business Insider, Facebook obtained its users' email contact list when they opened a new account. The discovery was made by a computer security researcher who realized that the social network was asking some users to password their personal email account to allow account creation. The reason given by Facebook for the request would be to verify the user's identity.
The same source revealed that if the user accepted to enter the password, it would then be indicated that his contact list was being imported without having been asked for prior authorization.
A Facebook representative revealed to Business Insider that, in fact, contacts of 1.5 million users had been collected and entered into their system. The goals pointed out by Facebook would be to improve the targeting of advertising, build its network of social connections and recommend friends to add.
The same representative assured that the social network did not accede to the content of the emails. However, it is not able to indicate the total number of contacts that have been obtained in this way, which is expected to be in the tens or even hundreds of millions, depending on how many contacts each user who is part of that million and a half had stored in their account.
This is one more fault related to Mark Zuckerberg's company, which have been recurring since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Less than a month ago, it was learned that hundreds of millions of Facebook users saw their passwords stored in text, without any encryption, in a document accessible to 20,000 employees of the company.