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Published:May 5th, 2010 18:10 EST
Facebook Bug Displays Live Chats and Pending Friend Requests To Friends

Facebook Bug Displays Live Chats and Pending Friend Requests To Friends

By Tim Martin

There is a chance that your live chats and pending friend requests were exposed to your other friends this week.

A bug in the "preview my profile" feature caused users live chats and pending friend requests to be visible to their contacts this week. The "Preview My Profile" feature lets you type in the name of someone on your friends list and then see what profile information they would see of your profile when visiting your page. This week, Facebook members were able to see live chats and pending friend requests of the contacts name they were typing in.

Facebook released the following statement:

"For a limited period of time, a bug permitted some users` chat messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends by manipulating the `preview my profile` feature of Facebook privacy settings. "When we received reports of the problem, our engineers promptly diagnosed it and temporarily disabled the chat function. We also pushed out a fix to take care of the visible friend requests which is now complete."

Facebook did not release how long this feature has had this security issue or how many people were affected.

Facebook has been in the news as it is lately when it comes to privacy, they certainly didn`t need this. Facebook has changed their privacy settings making more profile data public by default, and by sharing more profile and user information with third-party partners through the Open Graph API and Social Plugins that was announced last month at the F8 Conference.

This should be a reminder to everyone: No matter what settings or safe guards you have in place on any site, when it comes to your data or personal information, there is always a chance it could be exposed in a security flaw or be stolen by a hacker. Convenience comes with a price sometimes, and that price is the risk of vulnerability.

Tim Martin is a Technology Specialist, Follow him on Facebook at or on Twitter @tsmartin. For more of Tim`s news articles and tech radio show, visit Do you have a story that needs told? Let Tim know!