Facebook has been in the news for how it handles user data from the time it was created and before it even went public beyond the Harvard walls. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is criticized for calling his friends and fellow students at Harvard “dumb explicit” in a chatroom for trusting him with their personal information including Social Security Numbers for his new website.
Earlier this year, Facebook was in the negative limelight for selling 70 million users’ personal information to a third-party data mining firm. Cambridge Analytica scandal showed how a single big company could affect elections and public policies around the world. Too much power concentrated on one hand or one entity can be dangerous to society. Under the firestorm of criticism, then Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos had to leave the company.
Now Facebook is facing yet another scandal regarding its digital security or lack thereof. The company is facing class-action lawsuits in California and New York over the compromised Facebook user accounts. The security loop which Facebook alleges has already been fixed, left millions of accounts vulnerable to identity theft.
Although Facebook has admitted that user data were exposed, it hasn’t publicly stated about the total extent of the data breach yet. We do not know if this recent security vulnerability has affected 50 million US users alone since the global Facebook user number is currently roughly at about two billion, which puts the affected account at about 2.5 percent.
Facebook has hinted that secured information such as credit card information of its users have not been hacked as they are stored in a safer place. One thing that this recent scandal will do is pressure governments around the world to muzzle Facebook even further.
“We patched the issue last night and are taking precautionary measures for those who might have been affected,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in a call with reporters.
“This is a really serious security issue, and we’re taking it very seriously,” Zuckerberg went on. “We have a major security effort at the company that hardens all our surfaces and investigates issues like this. I’m glad that we found this and we were able to fix the vulnerability and secure the accounts. It definitely is an issue that this happened in the first place. This underscores the attacks that our platform and community face.”
Facebook states that the initial investigation has shown that the hackers were not able to gain any privilege information of its users.
What is currently happening and what you can do to protect yourself online
This recent Facebook hacking scandal is still under investigation. The company has reset login for 40 million users, so the users are required to log back in again with their login credentials. Although Facebook has not advised its users in changing their password, privacy weary users may change their password from time to time for not only Facebook but other websites and even their home router.