Facebook blames latest personal data exposure on third-party developers

Data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users found on Amazon cloud servers

Data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users found on Amazon cloud servers

"In each case, the Facebook platform facilitated the collection of data about individuals and its transfer to third parties, who became responsible for its security".

According to cybersecurity firm UpGuard, third-party Facebook app developers stored user data on Amazon's servers in a way that exposed it to the public.

This time, however, the data of thousands of users has not been leaked on the network due to the negligence of Facebook but due to two third-party developers. Facebook contacted Amazon to pull the data offline, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

According to researchers at UpGuard, more than 540 million records of Facebook users' personal information including account names, Facebook IDs, comments, likes, reactions and more, were found on the insecure public server of Cultura Colectiva, a Mexican digital media publisher. Both had been secured by Wednesday, UpGuard said.

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Another database was found that belonged to an app called At the Pool. Another backup file on a separate storage server by defunct California-based app maker At The Pool contained even more sensitive data, including scraped information on more than 22,000 users, such as a user's friends lists, interests, photos, group memberships and check-ins. Facebook said the databases have been taken down. Still, storing them publicly could put people at risk if they used the same passwords across different accounts. Last year, Facebook faced global reputational damage when analytics company Cambridge Analytica was found misusing user data of over 87 million Facebook users to build tools to influence the USA presidential elections in 2016.

The company also said that once it was alerted to the issue, Facebook worked with Amazon to take down the databases.

Though there remains the possibility that these app developers could have inadvertently placed the information on public servers, it serves as a reminder that Facebook data is not always private. "We are committed to working with the developers on our platform to protect people's data".

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