419M Facebook users’ accounts, phone numbers found on online database: Report
Records of more than 419 million Facebook accounts — including phone numbers associated with the accounts — were found online where anyone could have access to them, according to a recent report.
The information that was posted for each account included the users’ IDs and phone numbers associated with the account. Some of the records also included the user’s gender, the outlet reported.
Before it was taken down, the server had included information about approximately 133 million U.S.-based accounts, 18 million U.K. accounts and more than 50 million accounts from Vietnam-based users, according to TechCrunch.
A Facebook spokesperson told FOX Business that the information that was posted on the server had to have been taken before last year, when the company stopped making users’ phone numbers public in April.
“This dataset 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 told FOX Business in an emailed statement.
“The dataset has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised,” the spokesperson added.
TechCrunch reportedly found the server after a security researcher, Sanyam Jain, found it and told the outlet about it. He claimed to have found the phone numbers of several celebrities on the database.
However, the server was reportedly taken down after TechCrunch reached out to the web host.
It is unknown who posted the information or why they did it, though TechCrunch reported that the issue could have been from human error rather than hacking.
Facebook has come under an increasing amount of scrutiny in the past few years for privacy violations.
In July, the social media giant was fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission in July for violating consumers’ privacy rights.
The probe was borne out of the revelation that a third-party firm – Cambridge Analytica – was able to access private information belonging to millions of Americans during the 2016 election cycle.
FOX Business’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.