Facebook app data exposed by third-party developers

The discovery marks the latest major privacy and security mishap to plague Facebook

The two data troves come from Cultura Colectiva, a Mexican company sharing celebrity and entertainment news to an audience of millions, from which the majority of data came from, and the app At the Pool, which hasn't been running since 2014, but had improperly stored records of 22,000 app users who accessed it with their Facebook.

Breach notice: UpGuard first notified Cultura Colectiva - a platform for posts about celebs and culture - of the breach on January 10, and once again on January 14, but has not received a response until today.

After a series of inadvertent exposures of information stored on AWS's Simple Storage Service in recent years, the company made it more hard for its customers to make data public facing in the first place, peppering the service with warning notices when something is exposed, and giving administrators easier options to shut down open databases. Facebook has, in some cases, demanded some new users to disclose their email passwords, without any legitimate reason.

"Each of the data sets was stored in its own Amazon S3 bucket configured to allow public download of files". Last year, the company also revealed that attackers exploited a bug on the platform to expose the information of almost 50 million users. The buckets have since been secured or taken offline. Adding further, "We are aware of the uses that data can now have, so we have reinforced our security measures to protect the data and privacy of the users of our fanpages on Facebook".

Then in November 2017 UpGuard found "critical data" belonging to the United States army on virtual image of hard disk left on an AWS server, without password protection.

"In the age of GDPR companies must realize that when they collect data they are responsible for it, regardless of whether they share it onwards or keep it themselves".

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Facebook shut down the database in question after being contacted for a comment on the issue by Bloomberg.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that Facebook simply isn't taking their duty of care in regards to the privacy of the data of its users seriously enough. "In this case, Facebook partnered with various organizations and transferred user data from Facebook users to those third parties".

"The public doesn't realize yet that these high-level systems administrators and developers, the people that are custodians of this data, they are being either risky or lazy or cutting corners". But as TNW says: "The data genie can not be put back in the bottle", and with much reason.

Facebook said it worked with Amazon to take down the database.

"The surface area for protecting the data of Facebook users is thus vast and heterogeneous, and the responsibility for securing it lies with millions of app developers who have built on its platform". "We are committed to working with the developers on our platform to protect people's data".

Unlike the 2017 Equifax breach, financial details and Social Security numbers were left out.

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