A spokesperson for the company wrote:
“Earlier this month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time.”
“When we looked into the steps people were going through to verify their accounts we found that in some cases people's email contacts were also unintentionally uploaded to Facebook when they created their account."
"We estimate that up to 1.5 million people's email contacts may have been uploaded. These contacts were not shared with anyone and we're deleting them. We've fixed the underlying issue and are notifying people whose contacts were imported."
Dan Goldstein is the president and owner of Page 1 Solutions, a full-service digital marketing agency. He manages the needs of clients along with the need to ensure protection of their consumers, which has become one of the top concerns from clients over the last year. Goldstein is also a former attorney so he balances the marketing side with the legal side when it comes to protection for both companies and their consumers. Of the latest news he says,
"Facebook's principal defense to many of the privacy criticisms in the last year-plus is that malicious third parties misused the platform to access private user data. This claim really doesn't hold water at this point, now that we know that Facebook actively rode roughshod over issues of consumer consent in order to collect data," Goldstein says.
"Taken in concert with recent revelations that Mark Zuckerberg approached third parties to gauge the market value of user data, this latest headline is chilling. It paints Facebook as a glutton for data, even among internet users who aren't signed up on the platform. The commodification of private information by Facebook makes its dealings with third-party apps and developers look unseemly," Goldstein says.
"We'll likely never know what if anything Facebook intended to do with non-user email addresses, but it's a good reminder that risks to your online privacy aren't restricted to your own actions. If you receive emails from a company you didn't give your address to, it's always best to unsubscribe or try to get removed from the mailing list. Apparently, you never know when that company could end up looking bad in the news," Goldstein says.