NEW YORK (AP) — Security firm Symantec says it has discovered a security flaw in Facebook that inadvertently gives advertisers and other outside parties access to people’s accounts.

But Facebook says it has fixed the problem and found no evidence that any private information was shared with any outside party.

Symantec said Tuesday that the outside parties may not have realized that they were able to access users’ profiles, photos and chats. The security firm estimates that some 100,000 applications were enabling the data leak.

Symantec says the problem was leaking “access tokens” — akin to spare keys. They let apps access your profile if you gave them permission.

For more information on how to protect your personal information, visit Facebook‘s safety section.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. Hacker Hal says:

    95%of the children are walking and chewing bubble text as they stroll by on their way to school…. 😀

  2. Dan says:

    Another reason to stay off of social networks sites…just because your profile is set to “private” doesn’t mean it is – there is nothing “private” about the internet – its an oxymoron – the only way your life is kept private is if you keep it off the net

  3. James says:

    Dear AP,

    You may be in New York, but Facebook is all over the world. Please know that Facebook is not in New York, just like the Internet is not in my computer screen. So no need to say “New York” when you begin your stories about the Internet anymore. Times have changed in the last 30 years since the invention of the personal computer.

    1. Duh! says:

      Dear James,
      For many, many years, news agencies have put the location of their office where the story was written at the beginning of their articles. New agencies have more than one office around the world. If the article was written in Seattle, then they would have written Seattle at the beginning instead of New York. Please join the real world and have an idea of what you are talking about.

      1. James says:

        You must not have read what I wrote, because it began with the words “you may be in New York.” I know how they do business, and the way they do business is out of date.

  4. zagwee says:

    Ut oh, this is not good. Whats up with all this lack of security at Facebook?

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