Facebook scrambles to avoid PR nightmare

A troubling report from a security firm pushed the social network’s public relations department into overdrive. How’s it doing?

Facebook announced Tuesday that it has fixed the problem, which The Wall Street Journal outlines:

“The issue, which Symantec described as accidental, centers on Facebook applications, the third-party programs that allow users to play games, shop and do other tasks on the Facebook website. In some cases, those applications shared with advertisers and analytics companies so-called access tokens, which act like spare keys (originally intended for the apps) to access or post information on a user’s account, including reading wall posts, accessing a friend’s profile, posting to a user’s wall and mining personal information.”

Symantec gives a more detailed rundown of the problem in a blog post published Tuesday. Facebook responded on its blog, saying, “We have been working with Symantec to identify issues in our authentication flow to ensure that they are more secure.” An unnamed Facebook spokeswoman responded to WSJ‘s inquiries:

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