The Symantec corporation, well known for the Norton Anti-Virus Suite and its new Norton Mobile Insight tool for Android operating system, has caught Facebook once again breaching the privacy of its users. On June 26th, Norton posted an article on its site pointing out that Facebook's new Android app is sending user's phone numbers to its servers, over the internet. Users need only open the application. They do not have to login, or even have a Facebook account for this action to occur. This leaves Facebook with a new uncomfortable question to answer about their commitment to privacy. In a time where privacy nightmares that once sounded like conspiracy theories are coming true in revelations by whistle blowers like Edward Snowden, it may be the last straw for some users.
It comes at an especially bad time for Facebook, who recently announced that it would be implementing "Perfect Forward Secrecy", an extremely secure form of web transmission technology. Both Facebook and Google have been trying to recover the trust of users since it was recently revealed that a government spying program called PRISM was able to peek at the data of US citizens; ostensibly in the search for terrorists. The scandal rocked its way all the way to the Presidency and has had wide ranging fallout throughout Washington and with privacy advocates throughout the world. With Facebook trying to reclaim some goodwill with its users, it's not clear that a new form of security will actually benefit users if Facebook is surreptitiously making off with user information, without their consent.