In a move that surprised and angered many Facebook users, the social networking site has changed the contact email address on user’s profiles to a Facebook branded email address – without permission or even a warning.
Well, we say without warning. We certainly didn’t see one. But The Inquirer is reporting today that a spokesman from Facebook told them the company shared this information with users months ago. The unnamed spokesman is quoted as saying “As we announced back in April, we’ve been updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site.”
Blogger Gervase Markham is getting the general credit for spotting the change on Facebook. In a post dated last Saturday, Markham writes “Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me. In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. What on earth do they think they are playing at?”
Upon testing, we found that the new Facebook address in our own profile sent email to our Facebook message center. The email was not forwarded to our regular email address and we did not receive notification that an email had been sent to us. It just appeared as a new message when we logged into Facebook. We found that we could switch the email address in our profile back to our preferred address through the profile/edit page (which we did).
What do Facebook users think of the change?
Marie Egoot Blatnik had a message for Facebook. Posting on an unofficial Facebook Email page, she wrote: “I’m really pissed off that you changed everyone’s email without their knowledge. I mean, it’s one thing to add in the ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ It’s quite another to also hide their pre-existing emails. Dishonest.”
What do you think of Facebook changing your email address on your profile? Big deal? Or not? Leave your thoughts below.