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Facebook data on 533 million users leaked online

Data from more than half a billion Facebook users was leaked online on Saturday, raising new concerns over the company’s ability to protect sensitive information. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has launched an inquiry into the leak. Facebook has its European headquarters on Ireland. 

The leak includes personal information on 533 million Facebook users, such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birth dates, and in some cases email addresses, Business Insider reported.

The data is believed to be more than a year old, but security experts say the information could still be used by criminals to commit identity fraud. 

Facebook has downplayed the significance of the leak. “This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in an email statement. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”

This is not the first time Facebook user data has been leaked on the web. 

In December 2019, 267 million Facebook User IDs, phone numbers and names were left exposed, according to Ukrainian cyber threat researcher Bob Diachenko, while in 2018, it was revealed that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected the personal data of millions of Facebook users. 

In July 2019, Facebook was fined $5 billion by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for data privacy violations.

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