06/21/2013 06:29 EDT | Updated 08/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Facebook Privacy: 6 Million Users' Contact Information Exposed

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a media event at Facebook's Headquarters office in Menlo Park, California on Thursday, April 04, 2013. Facebook on Thursday unveiled a software suite which stakes out a 'home' on Android smartphones as it steps up its challenge to Apple and Google in the booming mobile market. Facebook called the new software 'a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone.' The software, which allows users to see Facebook's 'Cover Feed' when they turn on their phones, will be available for download from Google's online Play shop in the United States starting April 12, Zuckerberg said. AFP PHOTO / Josh EDELSON (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook says a bug in its system led to users' contact information — such as email addresses or phone numbers — to be accessed by other users who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them.

The social media company said in a blog post that the cause of the bug is "pretty technical" but that the problem is tied to its "Download Your Information" tool.

The company uses the information that users upload to better tailor the friend suggestions it issues. The bug caused some of this information to be inadvertently stored in association with a person's contact information as part of their Facebook account.

As a result, if someone downloaded an archive of their Facebook account through the "Download Your Information" tool, they may have been provided with additional addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection. Because the contact information was provided by other people on Facebook, it was not necessarily accurate.

Facebook said it has fixed the problem and is in the process of notifying affected users via email.

The affected accounts represent only a fraction of the over 1 billion users on the social media site.

Facebook, which is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, said that it has no evidence that the bug has been used maliciously and it has not received complaints.


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