Facebook announced a new security breach last Friday, announcing that data had been stolen from 29 million accounts. The cyber attackers took information such as birthdays, employers, religious preference, as well as location check-ins and page follows from 14 million users. The other 15 million users only had their name and contact data taken. Facebook continues the investigation on the motive behind the attack but it appears that it has no relation to the Congressional election on November 6.
Facebook originally announced that 50 million users had been affected. The announcement came on the heels of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation which states that the a notification must be made within 72 hours of a known data breach. Facebook will directly contact affected users to let them know what data was taken.
This recent security breach is just another reason for users’ distrust in Facebook. Earlier this year, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before congress after 87 million Facebook users had their personal information used by Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm linked to the Trump Campaign.
Distribution of personal information over the internet has caused a rise in data breaches and lawmakers are being forced to take action. Last year, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, left more than 143 million people at risk of a data breach and resulted in a class action lawsuit against the company.
When information is left at risk for identity theft, it can result in a series of problems in the victim’s name including the opening of bank accounts, credit cards, and lines of credits. They can even attribute speeding tickets to a person. The thief can also take tax refunds and social security checks. The long term effect is devastating, and the process to reverse the theft is long and grueling.
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