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Harvard student loses Facebook internship after exposing privacy flaw

August 13, 2015, 9:02 PM UTC
Photograph by Ted Aljibe — AFP/Getty Images

A Harvard student is out of an internship at Facebook after creating an app that highlighted a privacy problem with the company’s Messenger service.

Aran Khanna’s app, named the Marauder’s Map after a Harry Potter item, tapped into Facebook Messenger to show exactly where instant messages were arriving from on a geographic map. That let users see where in the world their friends were at a given moment, even if they didn’t choose to share that information.

Over 85,000 people downloaded the app, according to Khanna. He told the Associated Press that he “didn’t write the program to be malicious,” but that didn’t seem to matter to Facebook, who canceled Khanna’s internship before it even began.