Irish Daily Mail

Privacy inquiry after data leak hits 533million Facebook users

- By Louise Burne

THE Data Protection Commission has launched an inquiry into Facebook after a dataset reported to contain personal data relating to some 533million Facebook users worldwide was made public. The social media giant said last week that ‘malicious actors’ had obtained the data prior to September 2019 by ‘scraping’ profiles using a vulnerabil­ity in the platform’s tool for syncing contacts. Personal informatio­n, including names, Facebook IDs, phone numbers, biographic­al details and dates of births, relating to the 533million users in 106 countries, was leaked on to a hacking forum. The DPC confirmed yesterday that it had launched an ‘ownvolitio­n inquiry’ into the leak. ‘The DPC engaged with Facebook Ireland in relation to this reported issue, raising queries in relation to GDPR compliance to which Facebook Ireland furnished a number of responses,’ it said. ‘The DPC, having considered the informatio­n provided by Facebook Ireland regarding this matter to date, is of the opinion that one or more provisions of the GDPR and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook users’ personal data.’ The DPC said that it will determine whether Facebook Ireland has ‘complied with its obligation­s as data collector’ in maintainin­g and processing data.

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