The private information of almost 500 million Facebook users around the world including their phone numbers has been posted to a website used by hackers, cybersecurity experts said.
According to the reports, the records showed that more than 32 million accounts in the United States, 11 million in the United Kingdom, and 6 million in India, according to Alon Gal, the CTO of cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock.
The details of the users include their full name, location, birthday, email addresses, phone number, and relationship status.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told the international news agency on Saturday that,
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
Earlier, a South Korean agency that protects personal information, fined Facebook Inc 6.7 billion and sought a criminal investigation for providing users’ personal information to other operators without their consent.
The country’s Personal Information Protection Commission said in a statement that it fined Facebook after a probe found that personal information of at least 3.3 million of the 18 million Facebook users in Korea was provided to operators other than Facebook without their knowledge. This occurred from May 2012 to June 2018.
The commission said, when someone uses another operator’s service through Facebook’s log-in, the personal information of the user’s Facebook friends is provided to other operators without their consent.
The Personal Information Protection Commission said it will refer Facebook Ireland Ltd to the country’s prosecution for a criminal investigation as they are the recipient of the fine.
“We have cooperated as much as possible throughout the investigation process, we regret that the Personal Information Protection Commission has sought a criminal investigation,” a Seoul-based Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.
She declined further comments as Facebook hasn’t yet fully reviewed the details of the decision.