70,000 Project !deas Leaked

Crowd-funding site exposes draft projects in the latest social-networking gaffe.
70,000  Project !deas, yet to be published  Leaked

A software bug on crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com exposed more than 70,000 project ideas that weren't supposed to be made public, according to a published report.

The security lapse in a set of data feeds that permits user-submitted ventures to be shared with authorized parties allowed a Wall Street Journal reporter to download almost 77,000 of the most recent projects and drafts dating back to March, according to an article published on Monday. The flaw in the programming interface was introduced on April 24 and wasn't fixed until Friday, after the bug was brought to the attention of website operators, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler wrote in a blog post.

"The bug made accessible the project description, goal, duration, rewards, video, image, location, category, and user name for unlaunched projects," Strickler wrote. "No account or financial data was made accessible."

The episode is the latest reminder that privacy settings on Facebook and other social networking sites often fail to work as advertised. The best way to ensure that sensitive information isn't accessed by unauthorized parties is to keep it from being posted online in the first place.

Hardeep Singh


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