Social media titan Facebook entered our lives in the year 2004 and has become a part of our daily lives ever since. Launched by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was initially made available to just Harvard and later expanded to include students of other US universities. In 2006, the social media platform decided to open itself to the public, and the rest is history. However, this blog is not about celebrating Facebook’s success as a platform but to give you a timeline of Facebook data breaches that have made data of millions of its users vulnerable to hackers.
Not many people know that Facebook faced its first vulnerability in 2005 when MIT researchers developed a script that could download publicly posted information of over 70,000 users. Since then, it has frequently found itself became a victim of such data breaches. Despite what they say in response to the data breaches they face, it has failed to provide privacy assurance to its users, time and again. If you want to know how many data breaches Facebook had or want a Facebook privacy leak and fail history, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a Facebook data breach timeline and privacy fails
December Facebook privacy leak
In December 2005, a team of researchers at MIT university created a script capable of downloading publicly posted information. This was done in order to demonstrate a privacy threat that can be caused by oversharing on social networking websites. The team was able to acquire personal information of over 70,000 users saying that businesses are performing similar activities, taking control of user’s data without permission.
December 2007 Facebook data breach
In December 2007, Facebook released its new product called ‘Beacon’ which was designed to help advertisers understand their audiences. This was one of Facebook’s first attempts to monetize users on its platforms. Through Beacon, user activity on other websites was added automatically to Facebook user profiles. To demonstrate what it’s trying to do, Beacon showed the titles of videos users rented from Blockbuster Video on the Facebook News Feed. This was in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act and led to a class action lawsuit. As part of the settlement, the social media giant had to pay $9.5 million to a fund for privacy and security.
December 2009 Facebook privacy fail
Another Facebook privacy fail incident occurred in 2009 when the social media platform publicly published information which was marked private on users’ profiles. An investigation was issued by the Federal Trade Commission which forced Facebook to apologize to its users. It was also asked to promise better personal data management and protection.
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