Sep 4, 2019

Database leaked 419 million phone numbers scraped from Facebook

Photo: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A database of more than 419 million phone numbers taken from Facebook public profiles was accessible on the internet without any security, though it is now removed, reports TechCrunch.

The big picture: The database appears to have been compiled by an unknown group, taking advantage of users that kept their phone numbers in public profiles. Facebook stopped including phone numbers in public profiles last year.

Details: Researcher Sanyam Jain discovered the database and worked with TechCrunch to find a responsible party to secure the information from public view. While the database's owner could not be determined, the web host took the data down.

  • The database included 133 million Facebook users based in the U.S.
  • Though the collection of data had to have been compiled before Facebook removed phone numbers from profiles, TechCrunch found that the phone numbers still worked.

Why it matters: There's no evidence the document was discovered by a malicious party before the data was scrubbed from the web. But a massive list of phone numbers would make several forms of mischief easier.

  • That might include spam phone calls or hackers leveraging the numbers to take over accounts using a technique known as SIM swapping.

Go deeper... Report: Facebook ties names to authentication phone numbers

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Facebook's dating service finally hooks up with Instagram

Photo: Facebook

Facebook debuted Facebook Dating in the U.S. on Thursday after offering it for less than a year in some other countries. The company is also finally integrating the dating service with Instagram.

Why it matters: Facebook has 2.4 billion users around the world and is hoping a dating service will keep them around longer.

Go deeperArrowSep 5, 2019

Facebook suspends "tens of thousands" of apps amid developer probe

Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook announced Friday that it suspended "tens of thousands" of apps following a lengthy investigation into the third-party developers that share data with the tech giant.

Why it matters: The company is facing immense regulatory pressure over its privacy practices and data dominance. In particular, the Massachusetts attorney general's office has reportedly been working to unseal documents related to the app investigation.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Facebook unveils charter for its global content oversight board

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook is putting flesh on its plan to create an independent content moderation review board with the release Tuesday of a final charter for the body.

Why it matters: As controversies over hate speech, misinformation and privacy multiply, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has poured energy and resources into the plan for a "Facebook Supreme Court." The company hopes the oversight board will help it better navigate its quasi-national role — and deliver more consistent decisions about what kinds of expression are acceptable on its platform.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019