Facebook users filed a lawsuit against the social media giant this week alleging that the company failed to properly inform users about a data breach that affected tens of millions of accounts — the largest ever in the history of Facebook. According to the suit, the flaw was linked with the site’s single sign-on feature that connects users with third-party apps.
In the attack, hackers were able to access information like users’ birthdays, contact information, employers, education history, recent searches and even location check-ins. Perhaps the most explosive allegation in the suit says that Facebook knowingly did not fix this data breach for years, while taking steps to protect its own employees from risk.
“Facebook knew about the access token vulnerability and failed to fix it for years, despite that knowledge,” the plaintiffs said. “Even more egregiously, Facebook took steps to protect its own employees from the security risk, but not the vast majority of its users.”
It makes sense that Facebook is being sued over this massive violation. When the breach was first revealed, U.S. lawmakers promised to begin taking the company’s indiscretions more seriously.
This is another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action to protect the privacy and security of social media users,” Sen. Mark Warner said at the time. “As I’ve said before — the era of the Wild West in social media is over.”
Whether or not these users triumph in court, it’s undoubtedly a good thing that Facebook is being held publicly accountable for its failures.
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