An Update on Our Plans to Restrict Data Access on Facebook | Facebook Newsroom
Two weeks ago we promised to take a hard look at the information apps can use when you connect them to Facebook as well as other data practices. Today, we want to update you on the changes we’re making to better protect your Facebook information.
The seemingly massive privacy loophole was the result of a feature that allowed people to search for friends using their phone number. The setting, which has now been removed, was enabled by default in order to make it easier for users' to find friends.
But on Wednesday, Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer revealed that bad actors have been abusing the feature for years in order to gain access to public profile data. "Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way."