MANAGEMENT

Beyond hoarding profile data to use for tailoring ads, Facebook could theoretically use the relationship-mapping data in its newly launched dating service , designed to compete with apps like Tinder and Bumble. To use Facebook Dating, however, users must agree to turn on location services.


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Last week, ahead of the iOS update, Facebook published a blog post explaining its location-gathering practices and noting that users can turn off location services to prevent the app from using Bluetooth and GPS to track them. However, even with location services switched off, Facebook could still track a user's location "using things like check-ins, events and information about your internet connection," the post said. Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for any additional comment.

Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders.

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My Account. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. In fixing that last week in v, we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. When it comes to being candid about their privacy moves and the real intentions behind them, Facebook executives' track record isn't great.

Fast Company

Consider this Reuters story from earlier this month that cited court documents establishing that "Facebook began cutting off access to user data for app developers from to squash potential rivals while presenting the move to the general public as a boon for user privacy. In this case, though, intentions are irrelevant.

This situation merely serves as a reminder of what apps can do if no one is paying enough attention.

This is what happened, according to a well-done summary of the incident in The Next Web TNW : "The problem becomes evident due to a bug that shows the camera feed in a tiny sliver on the left side of your screen, when you open a photo in the app and swipe down. TNW has since been able to independently reproduce the issue. It seems as though the FB app for Android does not do the same video effort — or, if it does happen on Android, it's better at hiding its stealthy behavior.

If it is the case that this only happens on iOS, that would suggest that it might indeed be just an accident. Otherwise, why wouldn't FB have done it for both versions of its app? As for iOS vulnerability — note that Rosen didn't say that the glitch was fixed or even promise when it would be fixed — it seems to depend on the specific iOS version.

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The findings are consistent with [TNW's] attempts. We further noticed the issue only occurs if you have given the Facebook app access to your camera.


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  7. If not, it appears the Facebook app tries to access it, but iOS blocks the attempt. How rare it is that iOS security actually comes through and helps, but it appears to be the case here. Looking at this from a security and compliance perspective, though, is maddening. Regardless of Facebook's intent here, the situation is allowing the videocamera on the phone or tablet to come alive at any point and start capturing what is on the screen and where the fingers are positioned.

    What if the employee is working on an ultra-sensitive acquisition memo at that moment? The obvious problem is what happens if Facebook is breached and that particular video segment winds up on the dark web for thieves to purchase?

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    Even worse, what if this isn't an instance of a Facebook security breach? What if a thief sniffs the communication as it travels from your employee's phone to Facebook? One can hope that Facebook security is fairly robust, but this situation permits the data to be intercepted enroute.

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    Another scenario: What if the mobile device is stolen? Let's say that the employee properly created the document on a corporate server accessed via a good VPN. By video-capturing the data while typing, it bypasses all security mechanisms.

    If you use Android, you just got more control.

    The thief can now potentially access that video, which offers images of the memo. What if that employee downloaded a virus that shares all phone content with the thief? Again, the data is out.