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Facebook API Bug Deletes Contact Info On Phones

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the rollouts-that-don't-quite-go-as-planned dept.

Bug 178

An anonymous reader writes "If you thought that Facebook's recent unannounced change of its users' email address tied with their account to Facebook ones was bad, you'll be livid if you check your mobile phone contacts and discover that the change has deleted the email addresses of many of your friends. According to Facebook, the glitch was due to a bug in its application-programming interface, and causes the last added email address to be pulled and added to the user's phone Contacts. The company says they are working hard at fixing the problem, but in the meantime, a lot of users have effectively lost some of the information stored on their devices."

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Well deserved (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533819)

Any fool who syncs their phone with Facebook deserves all the pain they are likely to get.
The sad part is they inflict some of this pain on innocent bystanders who they happen to have in their phone books.

Re:Well deserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534067)

I agree. Who in the fuck would ever let their mobile phone have anything to do with Facebook?

Like parent post says, you do that, you deserve exactly what you get.

Re:Well deserved (2, Interesting)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534889)

Hmm. I dunno about that. I sync gmail to my phone. My company uses a gmail document repository, too, which I also sync. I sync to my phone's backup server. And I sync to my business Facebook account, too, to see posts, read Facebook chats, etc without having to whip out a laptop or bring up my phone's browser. I also have some apps that interact with Facebook for various reasons.

I feel I have some pretty good reasons to sync my phone to quite a few web services, including Facebook. I don't trust Facebook at all in my personal life, but deleting data from my business phone's contacts is a major, major screw-up, and nobody would have expected even Facebook to fail this hard. That said, anybody I knew outside of Facebook has a separate contact in my phone, anyway, but had I not taken that precaution, who knows how bad it could have been.

Re:Well deserved (1)

TheStonepedo (885845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535215)

You had me convinced until the "business Facebook account" bit.
I have not yet seen anything more businesslike on Facebook than advertising to employees and customers/clients coerced into being "fans".
What is the point of a duplicate personal account for business use on an ego-driven gossip tickertape service?

Re:Well deserved (5, Insightful)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535409)

and nobody would have expected even Facebook to fail this hard

Huh? Facebook has pretty stated that their strategy is to try major, risky changes at high speed and retract them if necessary. A careful, backwards-compatible, regression tested release process is the opposite of what they do.

So: I would say anyone trusting facebook with their critical data is a fool.

Re:Well deserved (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534201)

I screech, I screech, I screech!
*I screech into your snap! /Screech into your ass! /Screech into your snap! //=Screech everywhere!
*I screech into your snap! /Screech into your ass! /Screech into your snap! /Screech everywhere!
I screech, I screech, I screech!

Dear Slashdort, please grow a brain! (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533835)

Why is it that you always write about phones but then you never give me a phone? Why am I supposed to call anyone when there is no phone and also, sometimes when I call the people are like "who is this? What?" and they hang up, which is rude and foolish of them, because they are probably Italians who do not recognize my unparallelled genius and my philosophical nature. I believe in you slashdort, because i LOVE every one of you with AMEERICA and JESORS and CHEESE, against the Italian islamocommunist conspiracy. Give me a phone, slashdort!!!!

Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40533851)

The humanity.

Yea right a 'glitch' (4, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533865)

Like most consumers are going to believe this. Of course, what right to they have to complain? FB is a free product and users willingly sign away every semblance of their privacy. Don't want to get burned? DON'T USE FB!

Re:Yea right a 'glitch' (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534125)

Yeah, it might even brick your phone and you have no right to complain. Wait, you dont?

Re:Yea right a 'glitch' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534529)

No. You fucking don't.

Facebook: Not even once.

any asshat using that abysmal "service" deserves everything they get from said "service"

Re:Yea right a 'glitch' (2)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534819)

Like most consumers are going to believe this. Of course, what right to they have to complain? FB is a free product and users willingly sign away every semblance of their privacy. Don't want to get burned? DON'T USE FB!

No, FB is NOT a free product. Facebook charges quite a bit for the privilege of your ads being displayed to users. The users are the product, not the customer.

Re:Yea right a 'glitch' (2)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535331)

FB is a US company subject to our laws. So you're forgetting several things. To help you recall them more clearly, see this example:

1) Your company succeeds to legally attract all 500 of your local neighborhood's children daily under the pretense of giving AWAY ("free", see?) food and candy. Everyone wins: parents bring them in daily since they no longer pay for kid's food and socialization sounds good to them and feels great for their kids... what's there to lose?

2) On the not-so-well appreciated side is the team covering the costs in exchange for monitoring EACH child closely behind 2-way walls for behaviors, choices of candy and identifying clothing trends and optimizing their products for future sales to the community's children.

3) At some point, the food starts making a select few children's teeth ALL fall out.

4) THIS. IS. AMERICAAAAA! Ergo, the next step is in this analogy in the real world would be "Lawsuits! Lawsuits, of course! Free doesn't mean we're your guinea pigs and my loss is your loss"

But given that we're talking about 'damage' + "on the innn-ternet" our laws do not fully have any meaning most of the time and the crime is allowed to continue thanks to how far behind the governments are in paying attention and lazily adapting old laws to new problems without losing lobby money.

The children's teeth will not come back on their own for those who lost, so they'll probably go elsewhere, but all the other kids are addicted to daily free food and gameplay... parents have been saving cash and WON'T leave because they rationalize the chance of loss against their chances of saving. Ergo, free is still better unless your child gets hit with the next russian roulette round.

Re:Yea right a 'glitch' (3, Funny)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535113)

No, I really think it's a glitch, because it's totally incoherent with their business model: Facebook deleting personal data? That would be new!

Dipshits (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533885)

Facebook's programmers have made one mistake after another. I first noticed it when they started redirecting my tablet from the www. to the mobile site. Bastards. They shouldn't be forcing me to a site I don't want to use.

Then they changed my email to cpu6502@facebook.com. And now this story about the programmers erasing cellphone data "by mistake". Does Facebook hire monkeys to do their coding?

Re:Dipshits (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533937)

Yet still you have a Facebook account. Why exactly should they set the bar higher if all their screw-ups do is get them more free publicity?

Every time FB fucks up, the online world whines like it is the end of life as we know it. All you're doing is confirming to FB that you're addicted and can't live without them.

Why again should they change? You're their bitch and they like it that way.

Re:Dipshits (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534107)

Because I like facebook's free service, just as I like free TV or free online magazines or free Firefox or free Opera or free Lubuntu. I just wish facebook was as competent as the other guys.

If I was paying then yes I'd certainly cancel the account, just as I canceled Comsucks. I'm more tolerant of mistakes on free services (since technically I lose nothing) than I am of mistakes for paying services.

Facebook and wooden talking rings (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534261)

Because I like facebook's free service

Can someone explain what service that is?

Because all I've ever heard is stuff like, "I can chat w/ my friends on FB". Well, I can chat with them without FB too. Or, "I can learn where the party this w/e is gonna be". Well, I seem to learn that without FB. I've so far never seen something people claim they use FB for that doesn't work just fine if FB never even existed. I mean, jeez luise - people were going to parties and talking to family online before FB ever existed. Or, "It lets me find my highschool buds!" Which I did just fine without ever touching FB.

It's like someone suddenly sold every human being a wooden ring to place over their mouth and convinced them they couldn't talk to anyone without using this ring. So people buy these and walk around talking to people by placing the ring over their mouths, because hey, the rings let us go to parties and talk to friends and be social!one!! If you don't have one of these rings, you must be some weird antisocial weirdo who never talks to anyone! Except that people were talking to each other for the last million years without those rings and it worked fine, and plenty of don't even have a ring and seem to do everything the ring-people are doing, and without having to pay for the ring. It's completely unnecessary, but some mass insanity convinced everyone they needed it.

It makes no fucking sense.

Re:Facebook and wooden talking rings (3, Insightful)

webXtasy (615201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534679)

"I can chat w/ my friends on FB"

Agreed, definitely not the best (and far from only) thing for that.

"I can learn where the party this w/e is gonna be".

Agreed, definitely not the best (and far from only) thing for that.

"It lets me find my highschool buds!"

Sure, but if FB wasn't considerably more effective at this (i.e., you find a much higher percentage of folks you went to school with), it's because you have only three friends slashdork. It's more like, find the high school chic I had a huge crush on. You know so I can stalk her like never before, because, since we were high school friends (and I'm not in jail or something), it must be cool to let me know where she is and post pictures of herself with her new puppy and her pajamas.

The truth is, I remain on FB because it's extremely popular with the teenagers (which I have three). I damn sure can't just let them use the thing without educating them about the risks and consequences (and checking / fixing privacy settings every fucking week).

I'd be a dick to tell them they can't use it because I don't trust them or FB. I'm the guy that fixes and explains everything. It's what they expect and deserve.

They will have way more of this to deal with in the future than you can imagine (please get a clue before having children (or don't)). It may be a major pain in my ass to make sure that their cellphones aren't geo-tagging photos, they aren't just accepting everyone as friends, they post appropriately, and all sorts of things. It's my job as a parent to NOT tell them "NO SEX! NO VIOLENCE! NO DRUGS!" It's my job to educates them and teach them in a way that enables them to be good and safe AND PROTECTED citizens when I am no longer doing these things WITH them (e.g., my son knows how to install and _for-the-most-part_ maintain his machine with both windows and *my preferred linux*).

Anyway, Fuck FB.

And Fuck you slashdork. Grow some balls and own the technology.

Re:Facebook and wooden talking rings (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534971)

The truth is, I remain on FB because it's extremely popular with the teenagers (which I have three). I damn sure can't just let them use the thing without educating them about the risks and consequences (and checking / fixing privacy settings every fucking week).

That would be fine, except that the only way to win with Facebook is not to play. You don't allow and engage in harmful activity (like, for example, drugs) just to not be a dick, right?

Re:Facebook and wooden talking rings (1)

webXtasy (615201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535047)

The truth is, I remain on FB because it's extremely popular with the teenagers (which I have three). I damn sure can't just let them use the thing without educating them about the risks and consequences (and checking / fixing privacy settings every fucking week).

That would be fine, except that the only way to win with Facebook is not to play. You don't allow and engage in harmful activity (like, for example, drugs) just to not be a dick, right?

Fair enough.

Re:Facebook and wooden talking rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534693)

Can someone explain what service that is?

A confortable way to bully other kids and harass girls.

Re:Dipshits (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534787)

Yet still you have a Facebook account. Why exactly should they set the bar higher if all their screw-ups do is get them more free publicity?

Every time FB fucks up, the online world whines like it is the end of life as we know it. All you're doing is confirming to FB that you're addicted and can't live without them.

Why again should they change? You're their bitch and they like it that way.

Because one day Google might get their act together and properly market their social network, to the point where Facebook actually has real competition. I attended the first day of Google I/O and was pretty disappointed that they did nothing to address Google+ being an utter ghost town. All they did was focus on this "events" feature, and "party mode". It's a nice addition, but it still isn't going to get people I care about to use the network. I'm thinking all they have to do is start posting up billboards/posters and host contests.. even bribe people to use their social network. Then it'll take off, and Facebook will start getting serious. I have to believe there's SOMEONE at Google with the brains and the influence to act on this. Google tends to do dramatic things suddenly, so I give them about a year to show up on the radar. You want to know how comfy Facebook is right now? They don't have a QA department. A manager at Facebook told me this outright about 3-4 months ago. I doubt it's changed since then. They just code something, and trust their developers to assure it's okay, and they go ahead and put the things into production. So when Facebook screws up, or something looks horribly wrong, it's because they know no one has anywhere else to go while they're fixing it. That massive concern about "100% uptime" that we saw in Social Network is no longer there, because Facebook is well beyond critical mass, and yes, over half the planet is a monopoly.

Re:Dipshits (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534803)

You're their bitch and they like it that way.

"Mmmm, unt we like it that way too. Make my email cpu38499@facebook.com again. Do it even though I already set a username, then tell me the only way to change it back is to set my username. Then stop me from changing my username HARDER.... SO GOOD. Now flip me over unt use my profile pic to advertise to my friends."

Re:Dipshits (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534019)

And you stayed with them to document their screw ups, right? Yes, I have a FB account, only because they apparently never delete anything. I set it up to test business integration several jobs ago and haven't been there since except only to see if it was still there just recently, because, apparently, one of those wondrous changes you mentioned apparently started sending me updates (or was it a filter I accidentally deleted?)

Re:Dipshits (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534205)

Facebook is what happens when you give programmers a ton of money and let them run free. Consequences are not considered, things break often, and users constantly have to deal with their idea of "the latest and greatest". Facebook is in serious need of some process wrangling, before they do something that brings the whole thing crashing down. They're lucky that the web is fault tolerant, or it would have happened already.

Re:Dipshits (2)

ZosX (517789) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534325)

Does Facebook hire monkeys to do their coding?

I think they should begin recruiting monkeys. It can't make things any worse.

Re:Dipshits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534455)

Then they changed my email to cpu6502@facebook.com

I don't get what this means. Like, let's say you were cpu6502@yourisp.net before Facebook "changed your email". The most popular mail services now are gmail, yahoo, Outlook, and Thunderbird, all of which can store contacts. How did Facebook change anything that's not to do with Facebook?

Like, if I was mailing with you before I'd have you stored as cpu6502@yourisp.net. I just click your name when I want to send an email. I would still do that and it would still go to yourisp.net. Are you saying somehow Facebook redirected your "real" email onto Facebook? I'd be curious how they managed to do that. Or is your non-Facebook email disabled somehow now?

I can understand they might provide some new @facebook address for you, but can't you just ignore it entirely? Presumably your friends would email you at the address they always used to, unless you told them otherwise.

Re:Dipshits (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534685)

I can understand they might provide some new @facebook address for you, but can't you just ignore it entirely? Presumably your friends would email you at the address they always used to, unless you told them otherwise.

Did you even RTF Headline? His friends won't email him at the address they always used to, they'll email the @facebook address because Facebook has thoughtfully updated all their address books for them.

Re:Dipshits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534715)

Sounds to me like Facebook recently added an email address for everyone in the form FacebookID@facebook.com. They then set this as the default contact email address within the online web-based directory for all of your friends. This change was then pushed out to people's smart phones (if you had the FB app set to sync with your phone contacts), but accidently *overwrote* the default email address for each contact entry, which would be in the form Some.Handle@someisp.com.

Stupid yes, but that's what you get.

Re:Dipshits (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534621)

Facebook's programmers have made one mistake after another..... Does Facebook hire monkeys to do their coding?

They probably hire SoE programmers.

SoE is Sony Online Entertainment.

BUG?? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#40533911)

Sorry, 'bug'? Isn't that a bit like saying a behavioural 'bug' caused Facebook to kick my grandmother in the shin? (Which I don't doubt they would do if there was money in it.)

Re:BUG?? (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534333)

Sorry, 'bug'? Isn't that a bit like saying a behavioural 'bug' caused Facebook to kick my grandmother in the shin? (Which I don't doubt they would do if there was money in it.)

I'm under the impression it was originally planned to replace all your contacts email addresses with the new and improved friendxyz@facebook.com email addresses .. so they can, you know, route all of your email and use it for harvesting yet more information from you.

Re:BUG?? (1)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534675)

I'm under the impression it was originally planned to replace all your contacts email addresses with the new and improved friendxyz@facebook.com email addresses .. so they can, you know, route all of your email and use it for harvesting yet more information from you.

The scary thing is that I think you're absolutely right. If this is the case, though, then they're going way beyond what they should be allowed to do.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40533953)

It's not a bug, it's a feature!

(No really, it is)

Bug? (5, Insightful)

Parafilmus (107866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534007)

It seems a bit disingenuous to call this a "bug."

The API was operating as designed: when a friend lists a new email address, my address book is updated to reflect it. That's normal behavior.

The "bug" in this case was Facebook's decision to modify their users' contact info without permission. The API is not to blame here.

Re:Bug? (3, Funny)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534041)

+1

Re:Bug? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534133)

Do you mean "like"? Or perhaps "want"?

Re:Bug? (1)

josgeluk (842109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534341)

It's complicated. [time.com]

Re:Bug? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534839)

Trevor Babcock, consider the Facebook status a relationship deal-breaker. "I'm not willing to date anyone exclusively unless she feels comfortable going Facebook-public," he says.

I thought the above quote was bad until...

"It was after cocktails but before the first course at dinner," says Mrs. Weise-King. Still in their bridal attire, the couple whipped out their iPhones — they'd done a test run ahead of time and determined that they had to use the web browser and not the simple iPhone app — and switched status in front of bemused wedding guests. (They also uploaded a photo.) Throughout the rest of the night, Weise-King would occasionally glance down at her Facebook profile, "the way I'd glance at my ring when I first got engaged." Their status has not changed since.

Sickening.

Re:Bug? (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534233)

Indeed. Highly unethical. They have no business changing data under user control. At least here (Switzerland) it may actually be a criminal act to do so without asking permission ("Datenbeschaedigung").

At the same time, it was also utterly incompetent, because you do no change important data on devices you do not control without being extremely careful. As in making backups.

Re:Bug? (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534345)

It seems a bit disingenuous to call this a "bug."

The API was operating as designed: when a friend lists a new email address, my address book is updated to reflect it. That's normal behavior.

I can't quite tell if you're being a bit sarcastic. What happened was that the API overwrote the current email in the phones' address books with the most recently email added to the Facebook contact.

In the majority of cases, those who allowed their Blackberry, Android, iOS6 beta and Windows Phone 8 beta phones to sync their contacts with Facebook, have had the originally stored email addresses overwritten. The lucky ones had their contacts duplicated - with the new ones containing the @facebook email addresses.

It's plausible to me that they intended the API to add the new email instead of overwriting, so this could be a bug.

Re:Bug? (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535547)

Bugs do not "happen" when you have a supposed active userbase of 10% of 7 billion people.
Coders first test ANYTHING major in a contained lab environment. Then they stage this. Eventually they roll out to maybe a tech team or two within the company. When happy, they roll out country by country. Don't believe me? Remember when EVERYONE wanted Google Buzz but you had to wait your turn for this update to reach your particular account? Irrelevant? then remember that Facebook timeline itself was slowly rolled out too. So they're not just randomly seeing bugs.

Because you very well know that 1 production change cannot be undone when it's out of staging. After all, App makers like zinga and all have revenue to worry about, and a userbase of 500 million isn't something that would they'd think better before going overwriting things in a way that would kill their userbase. If that's the app makers, then you well know the App store / platform API providers will take their business seriously. Everything else is just backslash due to stupid decisions. Facebook is by now expected to do something NASTY every year, so they by know Zuck's gathered enough "bad publicity" feedback that he knows people won't walk out. They got no other virtual roof to take all their FB connections because network effect only works when there's a new and "better" network to move to.

Re:Bug? (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534419)

The "bug" in this case was Facebook's decision to modify their users' contact info without permission.

Nonsense. You gave them persmission when you enabled "syncing". Only a fool would allow an advertising agency with which they have no contract to not only run unaudited software on a computer containing their only copy of important data but also permit that software write access to the data.

Re:Bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534503)

Only a fool would allow an advertising agency..

Most people are fools.

Re:Bug? (0)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534697)

Truth.

Re:Bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40535089)

You are misunderstanding what was said. He is talking about Facebook's decision to modify the user's facebook contact information. The syncer agreed to sync the information, but his friend did not agree to have his email changed to the @facebook.com email that overwrote the other email.

Re:Bug? (3, Insightful)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535173)

You do realize that same sentence could apply to Google with Android OS? Only that they do have full root control on your phone.

PS: I do use an Android phone with sync to Google servers.

Re:Bug? (2)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534853)

Agreed. This is not a bug. It is an unintended consequence of the choices they made. The API is syncing as you would expect. When an email address changes, it updates to change to the new address. What FB didn't realize was that when they defaulted everyone's email address to their own, that when their sync occurs, it would do exactly what they had expected it to do. Someone just didn't think that this would cause a problem when it trickled down.

The real issue is with permissions (4, Interesting)

sabri (584428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534039)

While a lot of people (and trolls) will bash Facebook and its coders, the real issue here is the broken permissions system on Android and Iphone.

When you install an application such as Facebook, you are forced to grant more permissions than is good for you, opening up your phone for bugs like this. Those permission systems should be fixed (as well as the bug).

Re:The real issue is with permissions (5, Interesting)

bbecker23 (1917560) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534141)

Permissions Denied has always worked well for me in limiting unwanted permissions. Admittedly, a third-party app shouldn't be needed for this, but solutions are out there.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stericson.permissions&hl=en

Re:The real issue is with permissions (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534311)

On Android, I would recommend LBE Privacy Guard (requires root) to ensure FB keeps its sticky fingers out of the contacts.

On iOS, it requires jailbreaking, but there is a Cydia app called PMP or Protect My Privacy which will allow FB to have what it thinks is a contact list... when in reality, it is getting randomly generated garbage.

Either way, FB gets nothing that it shouldn't have if you know what you are doing.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534409)

On iOS, rather than jailbreaking, you can just wait until later this month when iOS 6 comes out, since it has built-in controls for granting/restricting each application's access to your contacts.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534549)

iOS 6 isn't expected out until this fall. If you are meaning the betas, if one is part of Apple's development program, that means they are under a NDA with Apple, and will be technically violating it by posting about it here.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534741)

Hasn't iOS 4 and 5 had this for awhile now? I seem to remember being able to allow and deny applications access to location data. Is that the only limit you can place on an app, or does iOS 6 make it easier by reorganizing the restrictions, or does it introduce completely new restrictions?

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40535213)

I don't know about 6, but iOS 4 and 5 allow per app the ability for determining location and being able to send notifications. However, slurping up E-mail, pictures, or contacts is A-OK.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534165)

While a lot of people (and trolls) will bash Facebook and its coders, the real issue here is the broken permissions system on Android and Iphone.
 

No. Not really. Whenever you want to change date under user control you a) ask them first and b) be very, very careful, and make a full backup of the old data. At least any halfway competent developer or sysadmin knows that. True, most screw-ups have multiple causes, as does this. But the fact remains that Facebook demonstrated extreme incompetence and complete disregard for their users here, and they did if motivated by greed. That is completely unacceptable.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534181)

In this case I don't think that's the underlying problem: even if it were opt-in, a lot of users would opt in to syncing email addresses, because in the normal case that's what they want. If a friend leaves company A and goes to company B, updating the address in your phone is convenient. What's less convenient is Facebook changing their email address when the old one was still valid and the friend didn't actually remove it...

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534437)

While a lot of people (and trolls) will bash Facebook and its coders, the real issue here is the broken permissions system on Android and Iphone.

The only iPhone users affected are the ones running the beta iOS6 who enabled Facebook integration.

I'm glad this happened now - it will likely mean Facebook won't have carte blanche access throughout iOS 6.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534511)

I'm very glad that I have a Windows Phone. :)

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

soulcontrarian (2676257) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534579)

No, the real issue here is that Facebook's coders messed up people's contacts and deserve to be bashed and sent some boxes of bananas. Besides, in order to synchronise your contacts you would have to grant those permissions anyway.

As if it was not enough that my phone came with Facebook pre-installed and I cannot remove it without rooting and (supposedly) voiding the warranty. Not to mention it sleeps in the background all the time even though I never used it.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534619)

I was quite surprise when using the FB app on my Nokia Belle (Symbian^3) phone, to discover that my phone's contacts' photos had been populated from FB. I don't recall giving permission for this app to access my phone's address book. I certainly hope that the data goes only one-way (i.e from FB to phonebook, and not phonebook to FB). :-/

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534713)

[snip]...When you install an application such as Facebook, you are forced to grant more permissions than is good for you...[snip]

Disagree. You aren't forced into anything. No one is forcing you to install Facebook on your phone.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535521)

Indeed. It comes pre-installed, so you don't need to install it. And even better - it is marked as non-removable.

At least that's true of every smartphone I've seen in the last 3 years.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534857)

When you install an application such as Facebook, you are forced to grant more permissions than is good for you

Well, maybe. I've noted that for two apps that do the same thing there may be wildly varying scope of permissions. Also, nobody is forcing you to grant those permissions. You can instead not use the facebook App. Since my only Android device runs 2.1 (I know, I know) the facebook app just opens my browser anyway, and that interface is fucking awful but it does work.

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535091)

Not sure about this. If I install programs on my PC, they can access all my files. I want it that way. It's my job to ensure that I only install from known sources and run software that I trust. Why should phones be any different?

Re:The real issue is with permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40535145)

I agree that the permission system is broken but for another reason - on Android unless you give an app all permissions it wants it would not run. You click cancel and you are presented with the same permissions dialog, so your two options are - click ok and give permissions or do not use the app at all.

Hmmmmm... (0)

theoriginalturtle (248717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534051)

I know there's some reason people continue to use Facebook. I just have a hard time imagining what it is.

Re:Hmmmmm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534127)

I know there's some reason people continue to use Facebook. I just have a hard time imagining what it is.

10 users 'like' this post.

Re:Hmmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534287)

its because we live in the real world and have social lives.

Wow, thanks (3, Interesting)

Georules (655379) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534063)

Thanks for the heads-up. I promptly uninstalled the facebook app from my phone. I have way too many email addresses in my contacts that I can't afford to lose. My contacts aren't just my contacts on my phone, I use those contacts for gmail. Facebook is going to have to find a really good reason for me to care to reinstall the app.

Thanks Google (3, Interesting)

bazald (886779) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534095)

For the first time, I appreciate your API changes which broke direct contact synchronization through the Facebook app.

Incompetents (3, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534105)

That is why you do not change data under your user's control, without a) giving them a warning and ask them to opt-in and b) making backups. Any halfway competent software engineer or system administrator knows that. Apparently, Facebook does not have such people and is still half-assing it. These people are really a disgrace.

Demand a refund. (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534115)

I think they should demand a refund of their subscription fee.

the bizarre part of FB (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534131)

Here's the really bizarre thing.

Of my FB using friends (eg most of them), about 80% claim to hate Facebook. Yet, they continue to use it. It's like abused-wife syndrome or something. They all go on and on about how it sucks, but they keep going back to him because maybe this time he won't hit me.

It looks to me surely like they are insane. I seem to do just fine iwthout using Facebook at all. I still have a social life, I still interact with my friends online, I still chat w/ ppl and email them, I still know what's going on.

So why the fuck do people keep using it, if they hate it so much? It seems like some weird case of otherwise smart ppl suddenly becoming dumb as rocks.

Re:the bizarre part of FB (4, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534191)

It s not that Facebook is cool, it's that social networking is cool, and there is no other realistic alternative. If I (collective I, I personally don't use facebook) have something to share to a group, Facebook is the simplest and the widest audience.

Re:the bizarre part of FB (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534359)

Share with a group? Like the World Wide Web was doing for a decade and a half before Facebook appeared on the scene? Like email was doing for decades before that?

Re:the bizarre part of FB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534473)

It's clear you've never actually used facebook, because anyone that's not a mouth breather doesn't give two shits about your content because it's lost in the sea of piss that is typical of lusers (thinking people care about their petty dramas, ignorant political rantings, etc.) Really the only excuse to use it is for actual networking, not sharing content. Twitter is much better for broad communication/sharing with an audience, and even then they fucked it up with advertising and paid tweets. In fact today there was buzz about "twitter without twitter", open standards communication and not having to deal with a company that does more harm to the platform than good because profits.

Re:the bizarre part of FB (0)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534651)

It s not that Facebook is cool, it's that social networking is cool, and there is no other realistic alternative. If I (collective I, I personally don't use facebook) have something to share to a group, Facebook is the simplest and the widest audience.

Social Networking isn't cool.

Re:the bizarre part of FB (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534673)

They all go on and on about how it sucks, but they keep going back to him because maybe this time he won't hit me.

You don't understand. Facebook is going through a really tough time, what with the IPO going so bad and the stock price tanking. It's been really tough for Facebook, he's under a lot of stress. I mean, sure's he's done this kind of thing before, but that was a long time ago, when he was younger. He's more mature now, and got himself listed on a proper stock exchange. I'm sure things will settle down in the future. He loves me you know, much more than MySpace or Google+ ever did. He even told me he couldn't survive without me. If I left he'd fade away into obscurity and never reach the potential I know is in there.

[3 months late.]

You don't understand. He missed his quarterly earnings number by 3 points. He's under a lot of stress to monetize his data. He didn't mean to store all my data in plain text on a public facing server, but he had to cut costs. He loves me. Just look at how he auto-identifies me in all my pictures. He wouldn't do that if he didn't, deep down, care about me in a meaningful way.

Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the prob (2)

Jthon (595383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534245)

The Facebook bug here is that if you ask Facebook for someone's email, it was returning the last one added which was that stupid @facebook.com email. But why was the phone deleting contact info and replacing it? If your only source of contact data for a person was their Facebook email then yeah I can see that swapping, but why isn't the phone keeping Facebook, and other contact info separate?

My phone shouldn't see Facebook info change, then go and delete the work email from my Google contacts, or phone contact. If these phones are doing that I'd argue you have a phone SW bug. I wouldn't want any random sync service to suddenly override my manually entered contact data.

As for people complaining about work emails being swapped, why do you sync work emails via facebook? You should have that entered into a separate place. My Android phone is smart enough to keep google contacts and facebook contacts separate, and merge the accounts for display purposes. (And my old Palm Pre back in the day did an even better job of this.)

Re:Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the pr (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534355)

This is why backups are important.....

Re:Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the pr (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534399)

Android Phone ----> Contacts -----> Menu -----> Import/Export ------> Export to SD Card -----> Peace of mind

Re:Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the pr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534869)

Until the version changes and you can no longer import them.

Re:Not entirely a FB bug, phone software is the pr (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535265)

Nice bit of FUD there.

--Jeremy

So how is your Facebook stock doing anyway? (1)

russbutton (675993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534351)

So how is your Facebook stock doing anyway?

Calling all lawyers! Calling all lawyers! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534381)

Make yourselves useful for once - go after Facebook. I, for one, will be cheering you on.

Re:Calling all lawyers! Calling all lawyers! (1)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534775)

This would please a great many of us, I'm sure.

Problem Solved (1)

Default UserOne (2641749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534415)

I found the easiest solution is to delete my Facebook account. I've been with Facebook since invites were needed but this was the final straw. It's crazy to trust a privately traded company with ALL of my personal information but to abuse the information like this is inexcusable. If this is how they treat my personal information then I have no interest in providing them any more opportunities.

blessing in disguise? (2)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534513)

it looks to me like this might already be fixed (at least if they're rolling out in stages i got a fix update it seems) and better yet all my contacts synced from FB have their email addresses reverted back to their real addresses and not that shit @facebook.com address. maybe this "glitch" was some real damage control for that email address fiasco?

Re:blessing in disguise? (1)

Aelyew (14580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534913)

In order to reverse this modification, it means that Facebook has retained a copy of your original contact list. Most likely FB has numerous timestamped versions of their users contact lists. For most professionals it is standing operating procedure to take backups before doing any modifications. However while that tidbit is probably not surprising to slashdotters, it may come as a surprise to the average Facebooker how much information FB is collecting over time.

Re:blessing in disguise? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535493)

i fully expected them to keep the old email addresses, so you're right it's not surprising. i figured they just changed what was displayed on the page. every one of my contacts on facebook has had their email reverted (last i checked most had not done so even though i asked them to) while a friend of mine says he still has a lot of the @facebook.com addresses on his friends' info. not sure if there's a rollout going on or if my friends actually reset theirs. it'd be nice to know what's going on with it.

Whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534561)

I closed my account just before the IPO in order to protect myself from the Facebook-That-Will-Be.

Nice to know I've already dodged one bullet with my contact list.

Glad they fixed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534585)

I had this very same issue after I uninstalled the Facebook app. In 2009. No time like the present!

Drunk (1)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534653)

So how's hiring drunk coders working out for you, Mark?

Re:Drunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40535259)

Really? What did this add to the discussion that the other dozen people above you saying 'LOL FACEBOOK HIRES RETARDS' didn't. Sad that your UID is so low, you bring nothing to slashdot.

I'm surprised Facebook (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534681)

Since you have access to a phone's contacts: I'm surprised you didn't skim phones for them, and add them as friends automatically.

Re:I'm surprised Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40534899)

Where do you think the data for the 'People You May Know' feature comes from?

Another Facebook bug? (1)

ageedoy (961786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40534961)

Not surprising considering their lack of a software QA team [quora.com] .

Export the email addresses while you can! (1)

moonflower1 (2676307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40535381)

Since there is no official way to export, why not use your rooted android device to do just that: http://androidforums.com/android-lounge/460827-how-export-your-friends-list-facebook-must-rooted.html#post4444672 [androidforums.com] Worked great for me, though, I used SQLite Database Browser on Ubuntu which is in the standard repositories.
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