Facebook’s Data Breach And What It Really Means for Online Data Security Facebook's Data Breach

Over 2 billion people across the world frequent Facebook every month. However, this past week, 90 million users were forced to log out of their accounts as a result of yet another data breach. According to a statement released by Facebook Inc., around 50 million users were actually victims of the breach, which allowed hackers to obtain users’ personal information.

Unfortunately, this isn’t Facebook’s first run-in with a security breach. In April of 2018, the social-networking company became the epicenter of a heated scandal after allegations surfaced that users’ profiles had been leaked to Cambridge Analytica. The reason for it? To manipulate the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Despite this, many users still remain incredibly impartial to the most recent breach. The reality of the situation is that we still don’t understand the extent to which our information was leaked.

“You know it’s one of those situations where it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind,’” ZJ Premyslovsky, a sophomore student at Syracuse University and possibly Facebook’s most loyal user, said in an interview. “Who’s to say the exact same thing won’t happen to Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.”

Critics say the attack is the latest sign that Facebook has yet to come to terms with its problems, according to a recent article posted by the New York Times. Many scholars and researchers have also condemned the situation Facebook has put itself in, citing that it’s skeptical how the company has yet to release a description of why the hackers wanted what they now have.

“This situation is very troubling, because Facebook, earlier this year decided to shut down their API for research which basically means that researchers no longer have access to even public data that is on Facebook,” said Patrícia Rossini, a post-doctoral research fellow at Syracuse University. “This heavily influences researchers who also follow terms of service and work to protect people’s privacy.”

For now, the topic of data security remains both a national and global enigma. It may be a while until the affected Facebook users fully understand what happened to their accounts. But the reality of the situation is data security for users around the world just became a whole lot more obscure.

“Most people when they think of Facebook data breaches, we are mostly concerned about our data on Facebook, but for me, at least the biggest problem with that is, what does access to my Facebook token and log-in really give people access to?” Rossini said.

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