Facebook Mole Reveals Master Password

A great post from Electricpig’s Mic Wright. Does Facebook know a whole lot more that we think? Read on.

Facebook had a master password that allowed employees to access any account and still records far more information about how you use the site than you’d assume, according to a new interview with a Facebook insider.

American blog, The Rumpus, has published an interview with someone it claims is a current Facebook employee. The biggest revelations: there was once a master password that would access any profile and Facebook records which profiles you visit most (essentially a stalking count) amongst many other bits of data.

The alleged employee says a master password once allowed Facebook employees to access any account. The password was apparently a variation on ‘Chuck Norris’ and was used for engineering purposes but other employees were aware of it. Most interestingly, the interviewee claims that misuse of the password led to two Facebook employees being fired.

Though the master password is apparently no longer in use, the interviewee claims that employees can simply query Facebook’s back-end database to look at private information. They also claim that there is a specilaised tool to access specific profiles but that Facebook requires a reason to use it and employees can be sacked for misusing it.

The interview also claims the social network records every element of your activity on the site. That goes beyond messages you write and receive to how many times you click on a particular profile, which photos you view, who has tagged you most in photos and notes. The information is apparently behind a recent change that now shows your best friends first in a search rather than simply an alphabetical list.

Facebook gave a statement to Techcrunch pouring scorn on the interview: “This piece contains the kind of inaccuracies and misinterpretations you would expect from something sourced ‘anonymously’ and we’ll leave it at that.”

However, it’s clear that Facebook is able to access profile information when it needs to, for instance to help police with their investigations, so the existence of a master password or tool for accessing private information is not so far fetched.

Does this interview suggest that one employee has simply misinterpreted Mark Zuckerberg’s call for a less private, more open world? We suspect he didn’t mean spilling all of Facebook’s secrets, whatever he’s done with his own profile.

Out now | £free | Facebook (via The Rumpus/Techcrunch)