Facebook has always struggled to keep track of its users’ data, as well as to protect these sensitive assets. Time and again, the events of the Facebook data leak are in the major headlines in worldwide media. Recently, the personal details of over 500 million Facebook users have leaked, which are freely available online.
Facebook Data Leak Scenario
A user on a low-level hacker forum posted personal information of over half a billion Facebook users. These data include names, account creation date, relationship status, location, and even emails for some of them. This leak consists of personal data of users from at least 100 countries (106 to be precise), including 32 million users in the United States and 11 million users in the United Kingdom.
In total, 533 million users’ data is available online, with India ranking third with over six million data leaks.
Alon Gal (Chief Technology Officer of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock) first shed some light on the data breach on Saturday. Thankfully, Nepal isn’t on the list of affected countries. Still, to see whether your email address has suffered any data leak, you can refer to sites like Have I Been Pwned.
Full list of affected users by country pic.twitter.com/Wrrzd0WyxE
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) January 14, 2021
A Facebook spokesperson reported that “This is old data that was previously reported in 2019 and the issue was already fixed in August 2019”. However, if such information has leaked from Facebook’s network, the company seems to have no ability to prevent it from circulating online.
Not the first rodeo
As I previously said, this isn’t the first time Facebook’s user data has been exposed online. Facebook was caught in a contentious privacy situation in 2020 after it announced that thousands of developers had access to data from inactive actions. Back in 2016, Cambridge Analytica scraped the data of 80 million Facebook users to target voters with campaign advertising.
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The data can be accessed for free, and there are chances that hackers can use it to perform illegal activities. He also said that a user-developed Telegram bot allows users to query the database for a small charge; allowing them to locate phone numbers associated with a vast number of Facebook accounts.
All of this points to the fact that any information you share on Facebook will inevitably become public; even though you want to keep it confidential. These significant data leaks aim to disrupt Facebook’s corporate model of collecting a vast volume of personal information and selling targeted advertising.
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