Facebook cancels internship of Harvard student who exposed Messenger privacy flaw

Facebook cancels internship of Indian student Aran Khanna, who exposed privacy flaw with Messenger app

By: IANS | Updated: August 16, 2015 9:22:46 am

Facebook cancelled an Indian-origin student’s internship after he exposed a serious privacy flaw in the social media giant’s messenger service, a media report said.

Aran Khanna’s application, Marauder’s Map, used data from Facebook Messenger to map users’ location when they sent messages, Boston.com reported on Wednesday.

The computer science and math student at Harvard University in Massachusetts, US, posted about his app on social media sites Reddit and Medium in May this year and soon it went viral.

The app caught the attention of Facebook and Khanna was asked to disable it.

Facebook, Facebook Internship, Marauder's Map, Marauders map app, Indian student, Messenger Privacy flaw, facebook privacy flaw, Reddit, medium, Mapping, Facebook location data, tech news, technology Facebook cancelled the internship of the Harvard student. (Source: Reuters)

However, before it was disabled, the extension was downloaded more than 85,000 times and “shared on over 200 publications”, according to Khanna.

About a week later, Facebook released a Messenger app update to provide users “full control over when and how you share your location information”.

Facebook cancelled Khanna’s summer internship, saying he did not meet the high ethical standards expected from the interns.

The student accepted another internship with a tech start-up in Silicon Valley and later detailed the experience in a case study titled ‘Facebook’s Privacy Incident Response: A study of geolocation sharing on Facebook Messenger’ in the Harvard Journal of Technology Science.

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