The private data of 533 million Facebook users have been leaked online. The leaked file contains data of 5.4 million Dutch users.
Your name, phone number, place of residence, relationship status, employer, and sometimes your email address — this is all information that could potentially be found in the leaked database.
According to RTL Nieuws, the file contains data that had already been stolen in 2019 by abusing the function which allows Facebook to automatically look up your contacts.
This was discovered by the website TechCrunch. At that time, Facebook said that nothing indicated that the phone numbers were being misused.
533,000,000 accounts having their personal information leaked is apparently considered “fixed” by Facebook’s definitions.
What do you think? https://t.co/KhGkYewIiu
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) April 3, 2021
What’s the danger?
When such a leak occurs, the company in question is obliged to inform its users. However, with Facebook, this didn’t happen.
It’s easy to become a bit immune to Facebook scandals – there’s so many of them! – but Facebook’s comms admitting they knew of this latest breach – of 533 million people – almost 2 years ago *but did not inform users* is pretty breathtaking https://t.co/eLBqE1a3cK
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 5, 2021
“The main danger of this leak is that the data can be used for fraud, for example via WhatsApp. The more data such a scammer has on you, the more convincing he can make the message,” says journalist Daniël Verlaan.
Scammers can easily gain your trust by for example mentioning your name or employer in a text message.
Was my data stolen?
Dutch Facebook users can check whether their data was part of the leaked file by simply entering their first and last names into this tool. If any matches are found, the database will show the last three digits of the linked phone number.
The developer of this tool, Joost Schuttelaar, states that he doesn’t store any data of Facebook users who use his software. This other tool uses Dutch and Belgian phone numbers to search the leaked database and also doesn’t store any user data.
How do you feel about this leak? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash