Data Scrapers Used Facebook Link Previews to Illicitly Collect Data

Facebook is not exactly known for the emphasis it often places on things like making sure that everyone is able to fully understand the manner in which it tries its best to protect their overall security, but at the same time a recent even that has occurred showed everyone just how lax Facebook’s policies truly are and what kind of a negative impact they are currently having on the manner in which we are able to rely on a certain level of security while we surf the web.

Data scrapers have been using Facebook’s link preview feature to illicitly scrape data from the web. They do this by submitting a link request through a developer account that they have managed to gain access to. This request would be sent to the Facebook or Facebook Messenger API. These APIs are automated in such a way that a link preview request from a developer account would quickly receive a response that would have much data compiled into it. Websites usually let Facebook use their web crawlers to find data since such a task is pretty much always used for something legitimate, though this is an example of one way in which it can be used to cause a lot of harm as well if you’re not careful.

It is quite shocking that Facebook ended up allowing something like this to happen. Websites allow Facebook to crawl their pages as a result of the fact that they trust the platform, but after a situation like this has occurred it seems unlikely that they would have this same level of trust in Facebook right now. In fact, many websites might just stop providing Facebook such easy access to their web pages and make it so that more restrictions are put in place which could be disastrous for Facebook’s future plans.
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