Facebook Data on More Than 500M Accounts Found Online
NEW YORK (AP) — Details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a site for hackers.The data appears to be a few years old, but it’s just another example of the huge amount of data collected by Facebook and other social networking websites, and also the limits on how secure this information is.
The availability of the data set was first documented by Business Insider. According to this publication, it has information from 106 countries including telephone numbers, Facebook IDs, complete names, locations, birthdates, and email addresses.
Facebook has been grappling with data security issues for years. In 2018, the social networking giant handicapped a feature that enabled users to look for another via telephone number after revelations that the political company Cambridge Analytica had obtained information on up to 87 million Facebook users with no knowledge or permission.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher noted discovering a database with all the names, telephone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — almost all U.S.-based — on the open internet. It is unsure if the recent statistics dump is related to the database.
“This is old data that has been previously reported on in 2019,” that the Menlo Park, California-based firm said in an announcement. “We discovered and fixed this issue in August 2019.”