Facebook, the data of millions of publicly disclosed profiles

A theft of 533 million FB accounts is cause for concern: telephones, addresses, a little bit of everything. According to Menlo Park it would have happened in 2019

Facebook is an American social media and social network, initially created on February 4, 2004 as a free university service and later expanded for commercial purposes, owned and operated by the company Meta[2], and based on a web 2.0 platform written in various programming languages
Facebook is an American social media and social network, initially created on February 4, 2004 as a free university service and later expanded for commercial purposes, owned and operated by the company Meta[2], and based on a web 2.0 platform written in various programming languages
Imagine waking up one morning and hearing from a geek friend of yours that your data, along with that of others 533 million Facebook profiles, were posted on a hacker site and are now circulating freely on the net. Well, you don't have to imagine it, because it actually happened to someone.

To more than a few, actually: of the hundred countries affected, Italy was one of the most vulnerable ever, with a number of users that is around almost all of the users of the social network, or about 90%. Followed by 32 million in the United States and 11 million in the UK. The news was reported on Saturday, April 3 by security expert Alon Gal, and found resonance thanks to Business Insider. In Italy, the news was later confirmed by Corriere della Sera.

All about privacy in the time of mass sharing

Street cameras and some private homes can compromise people's privacy
Street cameras and some private homes can compromise people's privacy

When did the data theft take place?

No one knows for sure, but it is estimated that the data was stolen in a bad day in 2019. You'll think: wow, it's a bit late. And we agree with you, but such news had already emerged in January when, on Telegram, it was possible to query a bot to receive, upon payment, the phone number of a Facebook user whose Facebook ID was known. Or viceversa.

Of course, Zuckerberg's colossus has already replied to the matter, stating with absolute certainty that the problem had already been identified at the time (then in 2019) e solved immediately. The security hole allowed people with a basic knowledge package to access people's data almost freely. The problem is that nobody says exactly when this disaster could happen again. After all, the huge amount of personal information that we introduce every day, almost unconsciously, on Facebook, is kept meticulously and down to the smallest detail - even when we then delete it. So it could only be a matter of time before the incident happens again.

The Swiss "Digital Trust Label" has an international reach

The Law for the Protection of Personal Data and Transparency (LPD) is destined to change the paradigms of privacy in Switzerland: it is expected to enter into force on 2023 September XNUMX
The Law for the Protection of Personal Data and Transparency (LPD) is destined to change the paradigms of privacy in Switzerland: it is expected to enter into force on 2023 September XNUMX

What can I do to prevent this kind of data theft?

First, it is essential not to panic. Even if you close your Facebook profile, your data would hardly be deleted from the databases. The only thing you can do that is concrete and minimally effective is take some precautions. First of all, enter your email address on “haveibeenpwned.com” and evaluate if your email or phone number is in the database. Change the password in question immediately and do not use your mobile phone number for identification on Facebook.

As for phishing, well, there are so many ways to protect yourself and prevent your data from falling into the hands of malicious people ready to orchestrate damage behind your back. In short, you can avoid getting "even more hurt" by taking some precautions and assessing the risk, always paying attention to the SMS and emails you open from sources that seem unreliable to you. Never open direct links in your email that “advise you to verify Amazon data,” for example, but going directly to the site and verifying it for yourself could help you avoid any scams.

Keep your eyes open. In the meantime, the Irish privacy commissioner is verifying the situation and trying to understand if the data is actually the same as two years ago, so as to understand whether the problem occurred earlier or not. Even the Italian Guarantor, according to Corriere della Sera sources, would be working to limit the risks to people's private data.

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What future does social media hold for us?
What future does social media hold for us?