Bev Dorma has used her Facebook page mainly for personal contacts with friends and family for the past seven years.
But what the Cowichan Valley woman didn’t know was that all of the messages she was sending and receiving were also being viewed by an unwitting woman in Nanaimo who was receiving them on her Facebook page.
Dorma said the woman contacted her and told her she had been receiving her messages and suggested she should contact Facebook.
“Coincidentally, the woman breeds dogs like I do, although different breeds, and jokingly told me that she could be taking away business from me as a result of this mix up,” Dorma said.
“I tried to get in touch with Facebook through the contacts offered on my page to explain the situation to them, but all I got back was an automatic computer response thanking me for letting them know about the problem, but the problem was never fixed and no one from Facebook has contacted me about this issue.”
Dorma said she began avoiding using Facebook and told people to contact her through email to ensure her communications were private.
She said she finally had to hire a computer specialist to come to her home and go through all her Facebook settings to try and deal with the problem.
“Fortunately, the problem is now fixed,” she said.
“I have limited computer skills so I would never have figured this out on my own. The biggest issue for me is that there was never any help from Facebook after a month of trying every day.”
Alex Kucharski, a technician with Facebook, responded to the Citizen’s questions about the issue, asking for more information.
His responses were not received by press time.
This issue is likely low on Facebook’s priority list lately.
In recent weeks, it’s been revealed that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained profile information of 50 million Facebook users, which it allegedly used to assist in multiple election campaigns since 2014.
Facebook’s handling of user data has been called into question in the aftermath of the leak, which has prompted calls for further regulation of internet firms and the protection of consumer information on the internet.