Facebook Plugs Privacy Leak in New Events Feature

By Cameron Scott 

Facebook has plugged a privacy hole that showed users’ event histories after the matter was reported to it by the critical European group, Europe v Facebook.

As Facebook began rolling out the updated Timeline format last week, Europe v. Facebook noted the privacy lapse and reported it to the company. The new design includes a listing of all the events the user has attended in the past two years.

“Political beliefs, sexual preferences and other sensitive information and other problematic data can now be seen through events and publicly accessed,” Max Schrems, the head of Europe v Facebook, said at the time.

Within hours, Facebook fixed the problem by removing the lists altogether. It seems likely that the company will re-launch the feature after the privacy issues are fixed.

Few users were aware of the issue because the new Timeline format has not yet rolled out to all users.

Europe v Facebook has led the charge against Facebook over privacy matters. The group has filed 22 complaints against Facebook with the Irish Data Protection Agency. Its complaints, based largely on the dossier about himself that Schrems obtained from Facebook in 2011, spurred the Irish agency to conduct a probe into Facebook’s privacy practices.

The European Union has stricter online privacy protections than the United States.

social networks, social media, facebook, europe v facebook, max schrems, events