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European Union investigates Facebook’s new information leak

Facebook let out the data of more than 500 million users, from the phone number to the email associated with the account on the social network. The case “broke out” last weekend and has already come to the attention of European regulators who are asking for explanations.

Although the social network made up for the failure in August 2019, according to the justifications previously put forward, concerned voices are raised in Europe. Wanting to ascertain the totality of the facts, the European Union’s data protection regulator seeks more answers and a complete scope.

More than 500 million users have seen their privacy compromised

Recently exposed by the publication Business Insider, the “mega” leak of information took place in 2019. The social network will have corrected the lapse in time, but not without first preventing 533 million users from seeing their data unduly exposed.

In fact, the huge collection of information was published in forums dedicated to the hacking where any interested party could access them. There are several databases, divided by country and yes, there are more than 2 million UK’s users listed.

The information includes the telephone numbers associated with the account, as well as the email used, among other data. To this are added the anniversary dates, location data, Facebook ID, full name, bio information and more.

The information leak took place in 2019

Facebook being disingenuous it’s old news old data 🤷🏼‍♂️ “This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a FB spokesperson told The Record. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.” This isn’t old data or older news. It’s more than 1/2 BILLION people FFS

– Privacy Matters 💙 (@PrivacyMatters) April 4, 2021

Facebook responded quickly to the recent exposure. He claimed to have remedied the vulnerability in August 2019, calling the information gathering “old data”. However, as several sources quickly pointed out, users are not in the habit of changing their name, email, or even their phone number every couple of years.

In summary, it was yet another attempt on the part of Facebook to mitigate a huge leak of information. This is to make it clear that not all “old information” is as old or outdated as the social network made you believe. Which brings us to the European regulator.

We recall that in the European Union there are severe fines for entities that do not report significant failures and security breaches to the competent authorities. Now, the last information leak that occurred in 2019 only in 2021 was known.

“Old” information that may precede the entry into force of the GDPR

Facebook European Union

THE ratio Facebook’s nickname of the data as “old information” seems to be trying to escape the application of the GDPR. By the way, we recall that the General Data Protection Regulation came into force in May 2018.

According to the Irish data protection observatory, or Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the leaked collection was mostly composed of information that precedes the GDPR. There is, however, information that was added at a later time, according to this entity.

“A significant number of those affected are European users. Much of the information appears to have been collected a long time ago from public Facebook profiles,” said Graham Doyle of the Irish agency.

In view of the above, the European regulator is now looking for “all the facts”. There is a culture of omission and complacency in the face of this type of information leakage that the European Union wants to combat.

The burden falls on Facebook in the light of the GDPR

Efforts in this direction are led by the DPC, the Data Protection Commissioner, or the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. This is the independent national authority responsible for upholding the EU’s fundamental right to data privacy.

As the publication advances TechCrunch, DPC has not received sufficient clarification from Facebook, even though the company is obliged to do so in the light of the GDPR. We recall that in these instances – security breaches – it is up to the entity to clarify what happened (burden) under penalty of financial penalty (commonly known as a fine).

The European regulator had to approach Facebook through several channels to get some kind of response.

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