Perhaps by now, you already know why your Facebook account got logged out yesterday. While a number of people are gushing at the company’s courage for publicly admitting the data breach that led to the logging out of more than 50 million accounts, the truth is that the company did not do it out of goodwill.
Facebook is required by the General Data Protection Regulation to report data breach to its users within 72 hours of discovery. Which means that data from FB profiles have been leeching out of their servers since September 25th. Though the problem seems to have been resolved as of writing, Facebook cannot yet say how much data has been stolen, or who has initiated this attack.
While news of Facebook’s security breach spread quickly through Twitter and various sites, it remained difficult to find some detailed reports in Facebook itself. Those who posted articles about the breach from sources like The Guardian, The Associated Press, and other news outlets received a glaring notice stating that their stories have been taken down. “We have removed this post because it looked like spam to us”, the notice said.
Why It Matters
Facebook is one of the biggest tech companies today, collecting millions (if not billions) of data per user every day. It was bound to be a target for hacking. What makes this data breach alarming was that the entry point for the hackers came from the company itself. And though Facebook has reported the breach to the public, the authorities remain ignorant as to the reason why the data breach happened and how it can be prevented from happening again.
Knowing how Facebook is unable to keep our data safe, will we simply regard this current mishap as an “unfortunate event”? Could it be that Facebook is manipulating the information we are receiving on our profiles? Is this enough fuel to spark a stronger call for more stringent government regulation of the data being gathered by big tech companies?
Facebook breach put data of 50 million users at risk
The vulnerability had to do with the social network’s “view as” feature.
Today’s disclosure is a reminder about the dangers posed when a small number of companies like Facebook or the credit bureau Equifax are able to accumulate so much personal data about individual[s]…without adequate security measure.Sen. Mark Warner