What Really Caused Facebook’s 500M-User Data Leak?

Lily Hay Newman reports:

Since Saturday, a massive trove of Facebook data has circulated publicly, splashing information from roughly 533 million Facebook users across the internet. The data includes things like profile names, Facebook ID numbers, email addresses, and phone numbers. It’s all the kind of information that may already have been leaked or scraped from some other source, but it’s yet another resource that links all that data together—and ties it to each victim—presenting tidy profiles to scammers, phishers, and spammers on a silver platter.

Facebook’s initial response was simply that the data was previously reported on in 2019 and that the company patched the underlying vulnerability in August of that year. Old news. But a closer look at where, exactly, this data comes from produces a much murkier picture. In fact, the data, which first appeared on the criminal dark web in 2019, came from a breach that Facebook did not disclose in any significant detail at the time and only fully acknowledged Tuesday evening in a blog post attributed to product management director Mike Clark.

Read more on Wired.

This particular Facebook incident has generated not only tremendous controversy about how it occurred, but tremendous anger as well — anger that Facebook hasn’t really apologized to its users, much less notified them properly.  Partly as a result of what appears to be an insufficient incident response, a number fo data protection agencies and commissioners have already opened investigations into the matter.

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