Facebook inc. (NASDAQ:FB) was called to the carpet recently by French authorities over some recent reports (which we reported in an earlier post) that some private messages were showing up on some users’ Walls, which brought up some questions about whether users’ privacy rights were violated by the company through some security breach or technical glitch.
After investigation of the situation and calling Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) managers to testify about the situation, the French data watchdog CNIL announced Tuesday in Paris that users’ privacy had not been breached in any way through or from the social-networking site. The cause of the rumors apparently was user error – CNIL determined that the rumor mill that swirled all last week may have come from users posting public Wall-to-Wall messages mistakenly believing they were private messages.
CNIL said in its announcement that it had been “satisfied that there was no bug or technical glitch that made public the private messages or personal information of Facebook users.” Officials at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) stated they were pleased to be exonerated. There were concerns that messages from as far back as 2007 were being posted on public Walls, and the rumor gained steam when a French publication, Metro, ran with the story of these reports. However, TechCrunch did a little investigative reporting of its own and stated, “We have found no evidence that the allegedly exposed posts were actually private messages. Our Facebook specialist found that email receipts show allegedly exposed messages were in fact Wall posts, and the posts do not appear in users’ Facebook Messages inbox.”
After the privacy-breach rumor went viral via Twitter last week, French authorities asked Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) officials to comment on the situation, and those officials stated from the beginning that they had no evidence of any bug or glitch or hack that would have posted those otherwise private messages onto public Walls.
While it turns out to no be a big deal, are you satisfied with the quick resolution of this “scare” in France? How do you feel about Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and its privacy protection measures? As an investor (like billionaire fund manager Jeffrey Vinik of Vinik Asset Management), how does this affect your opinion about Facebook Inc. (FB) as a company? Or does it affect you at all?