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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg remotely testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee in July 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A leaker said Saturday they are providing personal information on 533 million Facebook users, including phone numbers, locations, birthdates and other data.

The latest: Though the data is resurfacing, the issue connected to the leaked data was "found and fixed" in August 2019, a Facebook spokesperson told Axios in a statement.

How it worked: "With this ‘new’ case, we were provided with a sample of the data and it matched previously known data related to the Contact Importer vulnerability that was fixed in late August 2019," the company spokesperson said.

  • Facebook at the time disabled functionality that previously made it "possible to input multiple phone numbers and, by running an algorithm, connect which number matched to a specific user."

Why it matters: The data, which can be accessed for free, may be used by cybercriminals to steal identities and scam or extort money from victims, according to Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, which discovered the leaked data.

  • Gal noted the database appears to be the same set of Facebook-connected phone numbers circulating since January and that was originally reported by Motherboard, per Reuters.

By the numbers: The leak includes data from 32 million users in the U.S., 11 million users in the UK, and 6 million users in India.

Of note: It contains phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios and email addresses. It notably does not contain password information.

  • The data is personal, but much of it is likely to be public already, though perhaps not in this form.

What they're saying: “A database of that size containing the private information such as phone numbers of a lot of Facebook’s users would certainly lead to bad actors taking advantage of the data to perform social engineering attacks [or] hacking attempts," Gal told Insider.

  • "Individuals signing up to a reputable company like Facebook are trusting them with their data and Facebook [is] supposed to treat the data with utmost respect." he added. "Users having their personal information leaked is a huge breach of trust and should be handled accordingly."
  • Gal said Facebook can't do much to help affected users because their data has already been posted, but he said Facebook can notify the users so they can watch for scams or frauds.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: Any information you provide to Facebook or post there is sooner or later likely to end up public, even if you try to keep it private or specifically restrict it to your friends.

  • That doesn't excuse Facebook from responsibility for protecting its users, but at this point in Facebook's history, it's a realistic assumption for any user's self-defense.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout with Facebook's comments and to clarify the data leaked was originally found in 2019.

Go deeper

Southwest heat wave intensifies, breaks records and worsens drought

A temperature "misery index" shows peak levels across the Southwest (orange and yellow), and the upper air flow shows how the jet stream is being pushed north, away from the heat dome parked over the Four Corners region. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A punishing and long-enduring heat wave is intensifying in parts of the West and Southwest, with heat warnings and advisories in effect across seven states Wednesday. The heat will not relent until late in the weekend.

Threat level: In the coming days, 40 million are likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100 degrees.

Updated 41 mins ago - World

Putin calls Biden summit "constructive," but blames U.S. for tensions

Photo: Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his summit with President Biden was "constructive," and that the countries had agreed their ambassadors would imminently return to their posts in Moscow and Washington.

What he's saying: "Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions," Putin told reporters at a press conference following the meetings, according to a translator.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Live updates: Putin concludes press conference, Biden up next

President Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for less than four hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.

The latest: At a press conference following the conclusion of the summit, Putin called the talks "very constructive' and announced that the U.S. and Russia's respective ambassadors would return to their posts.