Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came under fire globally in 2019 for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal in which the data of over 50 million Facebook users was used without their consent for voter profiling. After the data breach, the Facebook CEO had a chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook at a gathering organised by the investment bank Allen & Company for tech and media honchos in Sun Valley, Idaho, the New York Times writes.
As per the report, Zuckerberg asked the Apple CEO how he would have handled the fallout of the scandal. In response, Tim Cook reportedly said that “Facebook should delete any information that it had collected about people outside of its core apps.” to which Zuckerberg was “stunned”, claims the report, based on inputs from people “who were not authorized to speak publicly”.
Facebook earns by serving personalised ads to its users and tracks their activity, even if they have uninstalled the app. Zuckerberg wasn’t going to take Cook’s suggestion and it shows in the number of data leaks that have happened through the social media platform since 2019.
Two years later, nothing seems to have changed as far as Facebook data leaks are concerned. In fact, the numbers have swelled only. In 2019, personal data of over 50 million users was mined; now, only recently, the email IDs and phone numbers of over 500 million Facebook users were leaked. And this is not all. According to a report by Vice, based on the findings of cybersecurity firm Motherboard, aside from the 533 million phone numbers, there is another database of Facebook-leaked phone numbers online. This separate data leak has been made possible with the help of a Telegram tool. The Telegram tool, which reportedly appears as a bot on Telegram, asks customers to pay to find a certain phone number connected with a Facebook account that liked a specific page. Motherboard claims that it has verified the tool and is also positive that the phone numbers included in this newly-found dataset are not included in the recent 500 million users’ dataset.
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