More privacy failures on Facebook: “malicious actors” collected user data through their phone numbers or emails

More privacy failures on Facebook: “malicious actors” collected user data through their phone numbers or emails


The scandal over privacy failures on Facebook seems to have no end.

A few days ago, it was the case of Cambridge Analytica, the British firm that was made with data from users of the social network to use later in political marketing campaigns and that this Wednesday it was known that actually affected 87 million profiles and not 50 million.

Now, it is also known that the theft of personal data did not stop there.

The creator and executive director of the social network, Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledged on Wednesday that ” malicious actors ” used a default Facebook mechanism to collect personal data from users.

It is a function that allows you to find other profiles by writing email addresses or phone numbers in the Facebook search box.

As a result, according to Zuckerberg, information on the public profile of many people had been compiled to match the contact details that had been obtained by third parties.

Facebook had established that function by default, therefore, if users did not disable it in their privacy settings, their contact data could have been stolen.

It is reasonable to expect that if you had that configuration activated, in the last few years someone has probably accessed your public information in this way,” admitted Zuckerberg.

So far, it is unknown who or what the founder of Facebook referred to with the term “malicious actors”.

Mark Zuckerberg (file photo)
Copyright of the REUTERS imageImage caption Zuckerberg recognized a new Facebook privacy flaw on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg reported, however, that the social network had recently disabled this function.

“Today, given what we know, I think we understand that we must have a broader vision of our responsibility,” he acknowledged.

The press conference in which this new security error was known was the second time that the founder of Facebook speaks after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

But it was not there.

The number grows

Another Facebook executive, Mike Schroepfer, acknowledged on Wednesday that the number of users affected by the scandal of the British firm Cambridge Analytica is 87 million, which would represent, in practical terms, almost twice the population of a country like Argentina. .

The British firm, through a seemingly innocent personality test in the social network, acquired data from users to use later in political marketing campaigns in election campaigns, mainly in the United States in 2006, as revealed by several in March.

The new number, released by Schroepfer through a blog of the company, represents an increase of about 37 million affected compared to the figure originally known.

Christopher Wylie, who uncovered the Cambridge Analytica scandal.Image caption Christopher Wylie, a data scientist and former employee of Cambridge Analytica, explained to the BBC that the firm used the data through a personality test on Facebook.

The event generated strong criticism against the social network, especially after it was disclosed that its directors had known for several years what happened and that, despite this, they had limited themselves to trusting that the consulting company would comply with their word to erase the information.

However, according to British Channel 4 television, which revealed the scandal, much of the information is still circulating.

After the announcement of reforms in the privacy settings of Facebook, some applications that use the social network to log in were interrupted on Wednesday that mechanism, such as the popular dating Tinder.

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