Apr 3, 2019

Facebook will stop asking new users for their email passwords

Photo: Facebook

Responding to criticism, Facebook tells Axios it will stop asking users for their email passwords as a means of verifying some new accounts.

Why it matters: Although Facebook says it never stored the passwords, collecting them in the first place is a bad security practice, both for the risk of a breach as well as for acclimating users to provide information they should protect.

Details: Facebook told Axios that "a very small group of people have the option of entering their email password to verify their account when they sign up for Facebook," but noted that people could choose instead to confirm their account with a code or link sent to their phone or email.

"That said, we understand the password verification option isn't the best way to go about this, so we are going to stop offering it,” the company said in a statement.

Those being asked for their e-mail passwords were users who listed an e-mail address that doesn't use the secure OAuth protocol, which allows users to verify their identity to a third party without sharing their passwords.

Facebook's use of passwords to verify some new accounts was first reported earlier Tuesday by The Daily Beast.

Facebook also recently acknowledged it had been storing some of its users' Facebook passwords in plain text.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for a nationwide stay-at-home order. FDA allows blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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CNN: Fauci says U.S. should issue nationwide stay-at-home order

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Trump administration should implement a stay-at-home order for the country, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a CNN town hall on Thursday.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

Go deeperArrow26 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have surpassed the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: Policy responses to the global coronavirus crisis have been every-country-for-itself and — in the case of the U.S. and China — tinged with geopolitics. But, the scientific work underway to understand the virus and develop a vaccine has been globalized on an unprecedented scale.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 53 mins ago - Health