Admitting to a major security botch, Facebook said that millions of passwords have been stored in plain text on its internal servers, leaving them exposed to employees at the social networking company to read.
The slip up came to light during a routine security review early this year.
“To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,” said Pedro Canahuati, VP of engineering, security, and privacy, in a blog post.
Canahuati said that the issues have been fixed and that users whose passwords were accessible will be notified. Hundreds of millions of users of Facebook, Facebook Lite and Instagram users' passwords may have been exposed.
An unnamed source has revealed that Facebook has stored passwords of as many as 600 million users in plain text which is accessible by 20,000 employees.
This is not the first time that concern was raised over data privacy and safety settings for users of Facebook. Last year, the social networking giant came under heavy fire when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump during his election campaign, accessed information on voters. In another instance, a coding flaw exposed private data of over 50 million users.