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Facebook axed internship for student who exposed location flaw

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If you're about to start an internship at one of the world's biggest social networks, it might not be in your interest to publicly embarrass it shortly before you begin. It's a lesson that Harvard student Aran Khanna learned the hard way after creating an app that took advantage of a privacy flaw within Facebook Messenger. Khanna had found that, whenever you chat to your friends, the system automatically shares your location. As such, he built a browser plugin, called the "Marauder's Map," that showed you where your buddies were as they were talking to you.

According to his explanation on Technology Science, that didn't go down well with the folks at Facebook, which demanded that he take down the plugin and not speak to the media. Khanna did as he was told, but that apparently wasn't enough for the leadership over at HQ. Just a few hours before he was due to fly to the West Coast, the student was told that his offer of an internship had been withdrawn.

Facebook, meanwhile feel that the decision was entirely justified, with the company's Matt Steinfeld telling Boston.com that the tool "scraped data in a way that violated our terms." He added that "despite being asked repeatedly to remove the code, the creator of this tool left it up." Whichever side you take, just remember that it's probably better to wait until after your internship is done before you start airing the dirty laundry.

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