Facebook is not going to tell you if you are one of the 533 million people whose data has been leaked
Facebook responds to the recent news that data from 533 million accounts leaked online for free, but perhaps not in the way users hoped: the company does not intend to notify users whose data has been exposed online , a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters
The dataset apparently contains a lot of information that you might not want to float around the web – including birthdays, locations, full names, and phone numbers – so it’s disappointing to learn that Facebook has no intention of notifying users who may be affected to be . The company cited two reasons for this Reuters why it doesn’t proactively tell users: it says it is not certain that it would know which users should be notified, and that users would not be able to do anything about the data that is online.
Tuesday wrote Facebook on its blog that it “believes” that the data was collected through the contact importer sometime before September 2019, a method that violates company policy. But like BuzzFeed News reporter Ryan Mac points out that this is not entirely consistent with the company’s failure to speak out or file lawsuits against controversial surveillance company Clearview AI for scraping photos from Instagram and Facebook.
Over the past year, I’ve asked Facebook more than ten times if it will take legal action against Clearview AI for scraping probably millions of photos from Instagram and Facebook. No lawsuits have been filed and FB has not disclosed anything.https://t.co/htkKCD5bT0
– Ryan Mac (@ RMac18) April 7, 2021
Facebook says it has “made changes to the contact importer” to stop the scraping.
If you’re concerned about whether or not your data was included in the data dump and don’t want to wait to see if Facebook changes its mind about notifying users, check out our guide on how to tell if you were affected. And to learn more about the dataset and Facebook’s lack of transparency around it, you should read Wired piece about the company’s inconsistent reporting.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.