Facebook withdrew an internship offer after a Harvard student created a Google Chrome extension that allowed users to map the location of Facebook Messenger users.
Amar Khanna had already been accepted into the social media giant’s internship program when he released the application, called Marauder’s Map. By exploiting a privacy flaw in the desktop messenger app, which has since been patched, the extension made visible the location of messenger users. The flaw sent user location in messages by default.
The app was downloaded more than 85,000 times after Khanna shared his application on Twitter and Reddit. Within days of the extension being posted Google told Khanna to disable the application and he complied. But not long after Facebook told him that his internship offer had been rescinded because violated the company’s user agreement when he scraped the site for data.
Khanna denied the claims and told Boston.com that he only used data that was accessible to all Facebook users. Khan detailed his findings, on Tuesday, in a case study written in the Harvard Journal of Technology Science.