What was supposed to be a shortcut for Facebook users to log into their pages ended up exposing their e-mail addresses — and, in some cases, potentially allowing access to their accounts as well.
A Facebook spokesman said on Friday that the company had created the shortcut, called auto login, to let some users go directly to their pages by clicking on a Web link sent to their e-mail addresses. Once they clicked on the link, they could get into their accounts, rather than having to go to Facebook.com and log in.
Some of the links required users to type their passwords, while others did not, the company said.
On the Web site Hacker News, a technology discussion board, Matt Jones, an engineer at Facebook, said the company had offered the service for “ease of use” and never made the Web addresses “publicly available.”
But they did become publicly available, as the discussion on Hacker News revealed on Friday.
© 2012 The New York Times News Service