More than 530 million Facebook users had their information exposed due to some bad actors exploiting a feature on the platform. The Big Tech company, however, chose not to notify users about the leak and how it had exposed their phone numbers, among other information that was made available on the platform.
The details of Facebook users were obtained by misusing a feature prior to 2019 and “scraping profiles.” In a blog post this week, Facebook stated that the data leak took place back in September 2019.
A spokesperson from Facebook said that the company was not sure as to who among its users should be updated or notified about the data leak and hence kept quiet.
Facebook also stated that financial, health information, or passwords weren’t leaked. That said, whatever data that was obtained could have potentially given away a lot of information about users.
After the news about the leak became public, several watchdogs and regulators expressed their concerns and some even tried reaching out to Facebook to discuss the leak. Data Protection Commission of Ireland, which also is the lead EU regulator for Facebook, apparently contacted Facebook about the leak and did not receive any “proactive communication” from the Big Tech giant.
This hasn’t been the first time Facebook is facing the heat of data scandals and leaks. Back in 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated the company over alleged misuse of data. Facebook ended up reaching a settlement with the FTC, according to which the social media company had to report information and details about any unauthorized access of data that has been validated and pertains to the information of 500 users or more.