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Facebook Scanning Private Messages to Increase Likes: Video (exploits)

Polish startup Killswitch.me submitted, via HackerNews, a video on an exploit that, among other things, appears to be showing that Facebook is scanning private messages to increase Like counters.

In its own developer materials, Facebook confirms that. We are awaiting official comment. It’s bad timing, though. Facebook is facing a $15 billion dollar class action suit for alleged Internet tracking. UPDATE: On October 5, Facebook argued that the case is without merit. Scroll below the fold to read the complaint regarding Facebook and Internet tracking.

Google removed the video showing the Facebook Graph API hack from YouTube because “it depicts harm,” says a YouTube error message. But the video is still up on Vimeo and embedded below. This detail emerges as Facebook today hits the one billion member mark, according to its co-founder and CEO Marc Zuckerberg.

Facebook Graph API hack discovered by Killswitch.me team and Sejwa.com from Kuba on Vimeo.

Facebook scanning private messages to increase Likes or for any other reason is going raise huge privacy issues. We’re awaiting comment from Facebook now. In a statement released initially to The Next Web, Facebook confirms the scanning but says it shares no private Facebook user information.

As The Next Web accurately points out, the Like counter never showed just Likes. Actually, Facebook, on its Developers page, clearly says what the Like numbers are all about. On that page, it clearly shows the following as pictured.

The Next Web’s Emil Protalinksi posted the following statement he says Facebook provided about the issue:

Absolutely no private information has been exposed and Facebook is not automatically Liking any Facebook Pages on a user’s behalf.

Many websites that use Facebook’s ‘Like,’ ‘Recommend,’ or ‘Share’ buttons also carry a counter next to them. This counter reflects the number of times people have clicked those buttons and also the number of times people have shared that page’s link on Facebook. When the count is increased via shares over private messages, no user information is exchanged, and privacy settings of content are unaffected. Links shared through messages do not affect the Like count on Facebook Pages.

Here’s the complaint in the $15 billion dollar class action suit Facebook is facing.

facebookCOMPLAINTinternettracking 1D397d01

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