The Facebook app for iPhone has become embroiled in fresh privacy controversy, after it was allegedly discovered to publish contact details of users without their permission.
It turns out that the Contact Sync feature on the Facebook app not just downloads your Facebook contacts to your iPhone address book but also uploads all your iPhone contacts to Facebook’s Phonebook application.
Although Facebook has updated the app to include a warning that states the kind of details it will send to the Facebook server, it does not provide users with an option to choose which contacts they wish to share and which ones they don't.
According to the Guardian, the privacy implications of this are huge because it does not just upload contacts that you are friends with on Facebook, but everyone on your address book, even those that you don’t want to share with everyone else.
Charles Arthur of the Guardian said: "The implications are huge, and extremely worrying.
“All it takes is for someone's Facebook account to be hacked (perhaps via their phone being stolen) and lots of personal details are revealed."
Facebook has responded in a statement: "Facebook never shares personally identifiable information with third parties – advertisers are only given anonymised and aggregated data."
Facebook says you can remove contacts from your address book if you so desire.
The Facebook Phone page states: "If you would like to remove your mobile contacts from Facebook, you need to disable the feature on your mobile phone and visit this page."
However, this does not clarify how non-Facebook users would go about removing their numbers they did not want to be shared in the first place.