Facebook: The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is launching an investigation into a data leak that revealed personal information to more than half a billion users of the largest social network.
During the investigation, the DPC will determine whether Facebook has violated the EU's personal data rights.
In early April 2021, The personal data of 533 million Facebook users has been published on the internet, listing users' email addresses, locations, phone numbers, and dates of birth. All the data came from a leak in 2019, which had not been leaked until today.
In a Press release on the DPC website, it was announced that an investigation into the data leak is being launched immediately. DPC believes that Facebook may have violated users' personal data rights, and states:
“Η DPC, αφού εξέτασε τις πληροφορίες που παρείχε το Facebook Ireland σχετικά για αυτό το ζήτημα, είναι της γνώμης ότι μία ή περισσότερες διατάξεις του GDPR ή/και του Νόμου περί protectionς δεδομένων του 2018 ενδέχεται να έχουν παραβιαστεί ή/και παραβιάζονται σε σχέση στα προσωπικά δεδομένα των χρηστών του Facebook”.
DPC also aims to find out if Facebook Ireland "has complied with its obligations as data controller with respect to the processing of its users' personal data."
A few days before the DPC announced its investigation, Didier Reynders, EU Justice Commissioner, sent a Tweet saying that he spoke to DPC about the Facebook leak.
"The Commission continues to monitor the case closely and is committed to upholding national authorities," Reynders wrote. "We also urge Facebook to cooperate actively and shed light quickly on identified issues."
A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC that it is "fully cooperating" with the DPC and notes that the 2019 leak includes "features that make it easier for users to find and connect with friends on our services." He also stated that “these functions are common to many applications and we look forward to explaining the protections we have implemented."
Can you still trust Facebook?
This is one of the biggest data leaks on Facebook to date and is definitely a concern for Facebook users. Although the data comes from 2019, the fact is still worrying as your sensitive personal information is exposed on the internet.
Unfortunately, this very serious event does not seem to have been treated appropriately by the users of the service. The larger social network has not ceased to function as a way of promoting personality and active "like" search, which seems to be much more important than reacting to a very serious data leak.