Facebook just released information that up to 87 million of their users that had a setting on their page allowing for more open searches, may have made them more susceptible to an information breach. It’s believed that only those users with this personal setting option had the potential for being scraped of their personal information by hackers.
This was not good news after the company has been the subject of criticism over their privacy issues in the wake of a few recent scandals. Within the past several weeks, the company’s stock value has experienced significant losses. Much of this happened upon release of information by a whistleblower that research firm Cambridge Analytica had taken private information on up to 50 million of their users. This breach of data may have been not just unethical but also may have been illegal and is now being investigated.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network with over 2 billion users worldwide. The company has recently struggled with ensuring proper safety measures are in place to protect the privacy of all its users. The company is now being called upon by Congress and Parliament in the U.K. to answer questions about their privacy policies. With the release of news about their recent data breaches, lawmakers in both countries want answers about their failures to ensure their user’s information is safeguarded.
Changes Underway At Facebook
The social network has since said they have disabled the setting that would allow “malicious actors” to engage in hacking private information of its users. The setting gave users the option of having friends find them from their phone numbers or email addresses. This option was helpful for countries where it is sometimes difficult to type in a user’s full name. The privacy crisis that has struck Facebook has been a wakeup call for the company that has otherwise enjoyed unrivaled success.
This new breach has now furthered the call for Facebook to tighten its reign on security and privacy for its users. The reverse search option, allowed hackers to gain access to private information such as like gender and birth date as well as their phone number if they were breached via their email address. This data is often used by people for fraudulent purposes including identity theft and credit card fraud as well as for other malicious purposes.
Facebook announced that due to the scale of activity they have found researching the breach, the original number of 50 million user’s having their data stolen is higher. The new estimates of the data breach are expected to be closer to twice that amount. The company is working on redesigning some of its safety settings to address the current concerns.