Seems like Facebook is still early in its learning process from the Cambridge Analytica incident. Facebook has found itself in the middle of another controversy yet again. In a shocking revelation by a UpGuard Cyber security researcher, more than 540 million Facebook user records were found stashed on two Amazon Cloud servers. Worst of all, the data was sitting on publicly accessible storage servers. This latest incident just adds further to Facebook’s causes of worries. Yet another proof that Facebook has no control over the data shared with third parties like app developers.
Mexican media company Cultura Colectiva had a 146GB dataset containing over 540 million records of Facebook activities including account names, usernames, comments and reactions. Shockingly, Cambridge Analytica too in the past turned Facebook ‘likes’ into a massive voter influence political tool. We had just covered Facebook in another post where we highlighted how changes to its custom audience tool brought more transparency to users apart from making advertisers more accountable. The algorithm at the heart of Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica has just come back to haunt them again.
Next dataset containing sensitive records like passwords mentioned in plaintext belonged to the now closed app, “At the Pool”. There is no confirmation however on this whether the passwords available are those of the app or the ones used on Facebook. UpGuard further revealed that neither Amazon or Cultura Colvetica complied in taking down the servers. As of now Bouncegate is trying to find out how long these records were on sitting on those servers.
Update: Amazon took down the servers after Facebook was contacted.
“Data about Facebook users has been spread far beyond the bounds of what Facebook can control today,” UpGuard said. In response to the report, Facebook said its policies “prohibit storing Facebook information in a public database.”
“Once alerted to the issue, we worked with Amazon to take down the databases. We are committed to working with the developers on our platform to protect people’s data,” the Facebook spokesperson added.
We are sure this recent lapse is going to get the global discussion around users privacy rights accessed further by various organizations. Can we see another Senate Hearing against Facebook in the months ahead? We do not know for certain. We will keep our users updated on further developments in this story.
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