Test ‘reveals Facebook, Twitter and Google snoop on emails’: Study of net giants spurs new privacy concerns: Facebook, Twitter and Google have been caught snooping on messages sent across their networks, new research claims, prompting campaigners to express concerns over privacy.
The findings emerged from an experiment conducted following revelations by US security contractor Edward Snowden about government snooping on internet accounts.
Cyber-security company High-Tech Bridge set out to test the confidentiality of 50 of the biggest internet companies by using their systems to send a unique web address in private messages.
Experts at its Geneva HQ then waited to see which companies clicked on the website.
During the ten-day operation, six of the 50 companies tested were found to have opened the link.
Among the six were Facebook, Twitter, Google and discussion forum Formspring.
High-Tech Bridge chief executive Ilia Kolochenko said: ‘We found they were clicking on links that should be known only to the sender and recipient.
‘If the links are being opened, we cannot be sure that the contents of messages are not also being read.
‘All the social network sites would like to know as much as possible about our hobbies and shopping habits because the information has a commercial value.
‘The fact that only a few companies were trapped does not mean others are not monitoring their customers. They may simply be using different techniques which are more difficult to detect.’