Facebook says the huge data leak of 533 million users wasn’t new or a hack, but something seems off
Facebook being Facebook.
This week, it was revealed that over 533 million Facebook users were a part of a major data leak that contained phone numbers, email addresses, and more. Now, Facebook has released a new blog post detailing the breach, but some of the facts aren’t adding up.
As reported by both Wired and Business Insider, the timeline doesn’t seem right about Facebook’s blog post. Essentially, not only are the numbers off, but the information found in the data set doesn’t match up well with the CNET article that Facebook cites in the blog post.
The fact of the matter is that during 2018 through 2019, Facebook was being hit left and right with data breaches. There was the whole Cambridge Analytica thing, a breach involving 419 million users, and more. Facebook says the 419 million user leak was addressed in early 2018. The new breach was, possibly, patched in 2019. But Facebook seems to suggest that both the old reports and this new one are referencing the same breach. It’s all murky.
The patches Facebook are referring to made it so people couldn’t search by phone numbers, something that made it easier for the company to scrape large amounts of data from users.
Now, the issue here is that the company’s blog post cites the 419 million user breach. But Lily Newman, who wrote the Wired post linked above, notes that not only do those timelines not match up but that the information in the older leak and the newly revealed one doesn’t match up.
Depending on what happens here, Facebook could be in some hot water for not reporting breaches and data scraping accurately and Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is already looking into the new reports to see what’s up.
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