Facebook Says Investigating Data Exposure of 267 Million Users

Last week in an online hacker forum, a website of leaked Facebook user data was made available for download. On Thursday, Facebook said it is investigating a claim that the public Disclosure of a database containing names and phone numbers of over 267 million users.

According to a blog post on the Comparitech website, the database was made available for download last week on an online hacker forum that belonged to a criminal group.

“We’re looking into this issue, but believe it’s probably the information we’ve received before we made changes over the past few years to protect the privacy of users better,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP.

Comparitech said security researcher Bob Diatchenko discovered the publicly accessible database containing the names, user I.D.s, and phone numbers of Facebook users.

The discovery was announced and the site, according to Comparitech, was no longer available by Disclosure of the exposed data comes as the social network tries to rebuild trust and ease fears about protecting the information of individuals on Thursday.

Earlier this month, U.S. regulators said British firm Cambridge Analytica — at the core of a vast Facebook data hijacking scandal — misled members of the social network about how they gathered and treated their personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission said its inquiry initiated in March 2018 found that the now-defunct political consulting firm “engaged in deceptive practices to collect personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting.”

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The FTC said that the British company, which worked on the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump, made “false and misleading” statements when it provided a “personality quiz” to Facebook users. It was also announced that Cambridge Analytical was able to create psychological profiles using data from millions of Facebook users, the case created a firestorm about data protection aiming Facebook’s internal investigation found that the platform had manipulated some data from 87 million users in the U.S. and elsewhere, alleging that the actions violated the terms of service of the social network, that it would not share names or any personal information.

Earlier this year, Facebook charged a record $5 billion fine in a settlement with the regulator for mishandling private data from users.

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