Image Credit — Jason Doiy/ALM

Facebook involved in yet another Data mishap

This time 419 million phone numbers got leaked

Faisal Khan
Sep 18 · 3 min read

You can’t keep the social media giant out of the news, can you? The muddied privacy record of FB has gotten even worse. Ironically, It was only recently that I wrote about how Facebook had opened a privacy cafe in London where the platform users will be given “privacy check-ups” & trained on how to customize their Facebook privacy settings.

The move was clearly intended to salvage its reputation from the numerous data leaks & hacks that the company had been embroiled in the past few years. In the latest security lapse, hundreds of millions of phone numbers of Facebook account holders have been found online as reported by Tech Crunch.

The numbers amounted to 419 million records spread over several databases covering a wide array of the geographical region — 133 million users in the U.S, 50 million in Vietnam & 18 million in the U.K to name the most prominent ones. Tech Crunch performed an audit to verify the claim by looking at a number of records in the database by matching a known Facebook user’s phone number against their listed Facebook ID. Other records also revealed the user’s name, gender & location by country (Figure below).

A redacted set of records from the U.K. database. The “44” indicates +44, the U.K.’s country code and the “7” indicates a cell phone number. Credit— Tech Crunch

Unfazed by the data leak scandals, Facebook continues to launch new products & services. Seems like it hasn’t learned any lesson from the regulatory quagmire that it has gotten itself into with the launch of its digital payment coin Libra, where the primary concern for the regulators in FB’s pathetic privacy record.

In a follow-up move, the tech giant announced the launch of its newest dating service dubbed ‘Facebook Dating.’ Users will be able to access it from within the FB App, where they will have to create a dating-specific profile. The service will also be integrated with Instagram via a feature called ‘Secret Crush.’

While the company continues to make towering claims about the new privacy and security features of the service, a lot of people are understandably skeptical of entrusting the company with the responsibility of helping users on their private journey of finding love.

Facebook is also rumored to be developing AR (Augmented Reality) glasses with eyewear giant Luxottica — project code-named “Orion.” The AR glasses would completely replace the functionality of current smartphones like taking calls etc. The product is slated to be available to consumers somewhere in between 2023–25.

No, Thank you. I will pass! Not from Facebook.

Ever since the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been on a slippery slope. There have been so many FB associated data leaks that it is difficult to keep count anymore. Despite taking some concrete steps to fix the security issues to restore the trust of its platform users, new product launches, hollow proclamations & gimmicks like privacy cafes is not going to help FB fix its badly tarnished image.


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Faisal Khan

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Content Specialist in Cryptocurrencies | Blockchain | Financial Markets | Technology | FinTech | Future | Science | Space


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