Facebook plugs privacy hole in Timeline redesign – for now

"Users were able to look through often times thousands of past events users were invited to, including demonstrations or gay parties,” the group noted. –

Facebook plugged the hole “within hours,” however, by simply taking the Events section offline from the redesigned template. It's likely that this will not be the last occurance of this sort of flaw – its indicative of an ongoing issue when it comes to Facebook and user privacy, the organization said.

Indeed, Europe v. Facebook has devoted itself to fighting the privacy fight against the web giant. In all, it has filed a total of 22 complaints with the Irish Data Protection Authority against Facebook’s European subsidiary in Ireland, according to Lisa Vaas at Sophos Security. Organizer Max Schrems also won the 2013 International Privacy Champion Award by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for his work, which has "inspired more than 40,000 users around the world to make similar access requests, helping to ensure greater transparency of internet companies".

Facebook is no stranger to privacy controversy: it has faced challenges over everything from its handling of user data to the roll out of geolocation-enabled mobile apps.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University shows that platform changes have steadily eroded Facebook users’ privacy practices. The study followed the privacy decisions of 5,076 Facebook users over six years, between 2005 and 2011. It found that it was typical to limit the amount of personal data visible to strangers until Facebok re-vamped its look and feel in 2009 and 2010.

“In fact, the social network's new policies were not only able to partly override an active desire not to post personal details publicly, but they have so far kept such disclosures from sinking back to their lower levels, according to the study,” The Huffington Post reported. “They also found that even as people sought to limit what strangers could learn about them from their Facebook profiles, they actually increased what information they shared with their friends.”

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