Meta’s troubles don’t seem to stop. Recently, the Irish Data Protection Commission levied a €225 million fine on WhatsApp, and now the $277 million fine for the FB data leak is another trouble for the company. The fine stems from an incident where the data of more than 533 million FB users was hacked and put up for sale on a hacker’s website.
Like always, Meta (formerly FB) resorted to image-preserving techniques and claimed that it patched the vulnerability in 2019 itself. It will try everything to evade the huge fine laid down by the EU watchdog for FB data leaks, especially when all tech firms are experiencing a growth slowdown.
When did the FB Data Leak occur?
The incident occurred in 2018 when malicious actors scraped the data of 522 million users by wrongfully exploiting the applications made to help FB users look up friends. The app offered searching feature using phone numbers. Data listed on the hacker’s website included names, birthdays, phone numbers, email addresses, and FB IDs. All of this data is a goldmine for hackers to target each FB user and conduct different types of scams and frauds. Moreover, taking ownership of the account is also possible using these data attributes.
Since the data was listed on the hacker’s website, it means that they were looking for buyers interested in the same field. The EU watchdog didn’t take the incident lightly, and the fine is a result of FB poorly protecting its data from falling into the hands of hackers. Meta claims to have actively patched the vulnerability and disabled data scraping using the application. It also said that it complied with the regulators and that “unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules.”
Clearly, the rebranding tactic isn’t working well for Zuckerberg’s company. WhatsApp, Instagram, and now FB have all been fined by the EU watchdogs for their transgressions. Considering the collective user base that these platforms have, security should be the topmost priority. But FB data leak incidents continue to rise, thereby risking the reputation of the Meta brand. Zuckerberg is already in deep waters with his VR venture, which isn’t looking appealing at all for now. It is still a mystery whether Meta will challenge the fine in court or not.