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After outcry, Facebook delays plans to release phone numbers, addresses

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WASHINGTON — Facebook, in its latest privacy flap, on Tuesday delayed a plan to share home addresses and mobile phone numbers of its members with outside developers of applications.

Facebook announced on its developer blog on Friday it would begin granting developers access to home addresses and mobile numbers but the social network followed up with another post on Tuesday saying the move had been put on hold.

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“Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that we could make people more clearly aware of when they are granting access to this data,” said Douglas Purdy, director of developer relations at Facebook.

“We agree, and we are making changes to help ensure you only share this information when you intend to do so,” Purdy said.

“We’ll be working to launch these updates as soon as possible, and will be temporarily disabling this feature until those changes are ready,” he said.

“We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.”

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The change announced Friday would have allowed Facebook members to share their home address and mobile number with external websites and third-party developers of applications.

A Facebook user would have had to explicitly choose to share the data before it could be accessed by a application or website and home addresses and mobile numbers of friends could not be shared.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at computer security firm Sophos, was among those expressing concern about Facebook’s initial move.

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“I realize that Facebook users will only have their personal information accessed if they ‘allow’ the app to do so, but there are just too many attacks happening on a daily basis which trick users into doing precisely this,” Cluley said in a blog post.

“Now, shady app developers will find it easier than ever before to gather even more personal information from users,” he said. “You can imagine, for instance, that bad guys could set up a rogue app that collects mobile phone numbers.

“The ability to access users’ home addresses will also open up more opportunities for identity theft, combined with the other data that can already be extracted from Facebook users’ profiles,” Cluley said.

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Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with nearly 600 million users but it has been dogged by complaints about privacy protection.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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