Wednesday January 29, 2020
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Facebook Exposes Over 419mn Phone Numbers in Another Data Breach

“The data set has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised,” the spokesperson added

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

In yet another data breach, over 419 million phone numbers linked to Facebook users have been discovered in an open online database.

The database included 133 million records of US-based Facebook users, 18 million records of UK users and more than 50 million records of users in Vietnam, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

This latest data breach exposed millions of users’ phone numbers just from their Facebook IDs, putting them at risk of spam calls and ‘SIM-swapping’ or ‘SIM jacking’ where a mobile number is transferred to a new SIM card.

Sanyam Jain, a security researcher at The Hague-based non-profit organisation GDI Foundation, found the database.

After the web host was contacted, the Facebook users’ database was pulled offline.

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FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Some of the records also had the user’s name, gender and location by country.

A Facebook spokesperson said the data set was old and had been deleted.

“This data set is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Google to Pay a Fine of $170mn Over YouTube’s Child Privacy Violations

“The data set has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised,” the spokesperson added.

There have been several incidents after the Cambridge Analytica episode involving 87 million users where Facebook acknowledged series of privacy lapses, including the latest admission that it mishandled millions of users’ passwords on Instagram and “unintentionally” uploaded emails of nearly 1.5 million of its new users. (IANS)

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New “Off-Facebook Activity” Tool On Facebook To Let Users Protect Browsing History

The social networking giant also introduced alerts for third-party logins

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Facebook
Over the next few weeks, Facebook will show nearly two billion people a prompt, encouraging them to review their privacy settings. Pixabay

To give over two billion users more control over their privacy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced several new features, including an ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool that will let users disconnect their identities from browsing history so Facebook won’t be able to see which websites they visit.

The ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool is now available to people on Facebook around the world.

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control,” he added.

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will show nearly two billion people a prompt, encouraging them to review their privacy settings.

“The prompt will show up in your News Feed and direct you to the Privacy Checkup tool, which we recently updated,” said Zuckerberg.

“This makes it even easier to adjust who can see your posts and profile information, strengthen your account security by turning on login alerts, and review the information you share with apps you’ve logged in with Facebook.”

Facebook
To give over two billion users more control over their privacy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced several new features, including an ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool that will let users disconnect their identities from browsing history so Facebook won’t be able to see which websites they visit. Pixabay

The social networking giant also introduced alerts for third-party logins.

Facebook Login lets users sign in to other apps and services, like games and streaming platforms, using the Facebook account.

ALSO READ: “Collaboration Is The Key To Ensure Cyber-Security”, Says Microsoft

“To help you keep track of your activity, we rolled out Login Notifications earlier this month. These notifications alert you when you use Facebook Login to sign in to third-party apps to help you stay aware of how your account is being used and edit your settings,” said Zuckerberg, adding that one of his main goals is to build much stronger privacy protections for everyone on Facebook. (IANS)