Without asking for permission, Facebook has changed users’ listed email address to one ending in "@facebook.com.”
The changed was discovered Saturday, and has resulted in either users having their @facebook.com address being listed or simply having all of their other addresses be hidden, as happened in my case.
The @facebook.com email service was announced in 2010, but it hasn’t really gained traction as a replacement to other email service. It makes sense for the social network to want to promote its own service, but the way it’s gone about it is sure to upset some people.
To change back your email address, go to your profile, click “Update info,” scroll down to “Contact Info” and click “Edit.” Select with whom you want to share each individual email address and to the right of that choose whether you want your email displayed on your timeline or not.
While users can opt out of having their @facebook.com address listed, the troubling part of the change is how Facebook went about implementing it. The social network didn’t as much as announce the change was coming or alert users once it happened.
Instead, a blogger came across the change over the weekend while checking his profile’s contact information.
“Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me,” said Gervase Markham, the blogger. “In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. What on earth do they think they are playing at?”
The company contends it announced the change back in April in a note mentioning all users would be getting updated URL and email addresses. However, it makes no mention of the fact that users’ listed emails would be changed.
“In addition to everyone receiving an address, we’re also rolling out a new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines,” a spokesman for the company said. “Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address.”