How Did Facebook Violate Your Privacy And Do You Know About It?
Over 2.80 million people use Facebook up to date and 1.84 billion people use it daily. Facebook has become an integral part of our daily life where we can search, see, and chat with people around the globe. Our friends can share their moments in the form of pictures and videos with us. But Have you ever noticed that Facebook is secretly violating our privacy?
Well, if you search for something on Facebook, you start to see that thing on various other platforms start suggesting the same. It’s not a coincidence Facebook has shared our data with other 3rd party applications.
- Earlier this year came to light that over 533 million user personal information got leaked online. CTO of Cyber Intelligence Firm Hudson Rock ‘Alon Gal’ reported in January that a bot on Telegram was selling numbers for free and it was using a Facebook feature in which the numbers were linked to Facebook accounts. The data included names Facebook IDs, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, names of workplaces, date of birth, date of account creation, relationship status but did not include any passwords or banking information.
- It’s not the first time that data is leaked from Facebook. In 2018 when the Cambridge Analytica scandal happened, this data-analytics firm was reported for the collected personal information of about 86 million people through a personality quiz app that users accessed through Facebook.
- Mike Clark, the Product Management Director at Facebook stated that data was stolen by scraping its platform instead of hacking the system. Scraping is a common technique that uses automated software to gain public information. It is not illegal but how the information was sourced was a violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
- Forbes in 2019 reported that a newly discovered security vulnerability in Instagram’s contact imports features lets an attacker get access to names, phone numbers, Instagram handles, and account ID numbers. Facebook stated that they are “already aware of this issue due to an internal finding” and this data goes back to 2 years and acknowledged the breach publicly.
- A Cyber Researcher also stated that the data leaked also included personal information about the CEO of Facebook “Mark Zuckerberg”.The CEO addressed that information was brought to his notice in 2017 which is 2 years before the data leak. It was demonstrated by a 21-year-old Belgian security researcher live on air to a radio station in Brussels that he could exploit a vulnerability in the Facebook feature to access the phone number of a politician. Facebook didn’t agree with this then. And 2 years later, a user took half a billion people’s data.”
- The leaked data included personal information of about 533 million users of Facebook, this stolen data was first posted on the dark web which enables cybercriminals to perform illegal activities by exploiting user’s data. Security experts have revealed that this stolen data can be used for phishing, spam, and targeted advertising. The mobile numbers which are used as one of the recovery options of accounts can be used for stealing information from other platforms.
Facebook stated that only the information that was public on the Social Media platform while the scraping took place has been taken while security experts have a different opinion. They pointed out that even those people whose mobile number’s visibility is set on private are affected by the data leak.