Facebook can’t seem to keep their users’ information private, once again

04 April, 2019, 15:53 | Author: Mary Valdez
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"As Facebook faces scrutiny over its data stewardship practices, they have made efforts to reduce third party access". All the same information would be available to anyone that looked at those public pages, it added. Last year, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress after it was revealed that tens of millions of users' data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that worked on behalf of President Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

In yet another blow to Facebook's data privacy concerns, researchers have indicated that the Facebook app developers left hundreds of millions of user records visible to anyone on public cloud servers. The records were accessible and downloadable for anyone who could find them online. Facebook, for its part, did shut down the database after it was notified of the security issue by the publication reporting on the story.

UpGuard noted that it also found a database backup for a Facebook-integrated app called "At the Pool", which contained passwords for 22,000 users of the app. We also asked the company how it intends to prevent this kind of third-party app privacy failure in the future. "We are committed to working with the developers on our platform to protect people's data". 'Not enough care is being put into the security side of big data'.

UpGuard's blog post didn't mention how many users may have been ensnared in the Cultura Colectiva leak.

The data exposure is not the result of a breach of Facebook's systems.

Facebook start page
A Facebook start page is shown on a smartphone in Surfside Fla. on Aug. 21 2018

"The passwords are presumably for the "At the Pool" app rather than for the user's Facebook account, but would put users at risk who have reused the same password across accounts", UpGuard said. That one instance has led to government probes around the world, and threats of further regulation for the company. Facebook now offers rewards for researchers who find problems with its third-party apps.

A Facebook spokesperson responded to the controversy in a statement to CNet Wednesday: "Facebook's policies prohibit storing Facebook information in a public database".

No private data such as emails or passwords were stored, because Cultura Colectiva did not have access to that information, it said. UpGuard said they told Cultura Colectiva about the uprotected stash on January 10 and January 14, and told Amazon server admins on February 1 and February 21. It wasn't until Facebook contacted Amazon that the leak was addressed. Sometimes, that information is created to be public-facing, as in the case of a cache of photos or other images stored for use on a corporate website.

According to a report by Research Firm UpGuard, two sets of user data has been discovered which was exposed to all. The company said it will inform users if they find evidence that the data was misused.

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