Report: 540 Million Facebook Records Were Exposed By Amazon Cloud Servers

Facebook found itself embroiled in another data privacy scandal this week, though this time it wasn’t the social media giant’s fault. According to a report from cybersecurity firm UpGuard, two third-party app developers left Facebook user data completely unprotected on Amazon’s cloud servers.

One of the developers stored more than 540 million Facebook records, including likes, comments, account names and more. Another company stored 22,000 unprotected passwords. The problem, experts say, is that even if Facebook strengthens its own security and has a perfect track record, its users’ information can still leak easily if even one of its partners gets careless.

“As these exposures show, the data genie cannot be put back in the bottle,” UpGuard wrote in a blog post about the discovery. “Data about Facebook users has been spread far beyond the bounds of what Facebook can control today. Combine that plenitude of personal data with storage technologies that are often misconfigured for public access, and the result is a long tail of data about Facebook users that continues to leak.”

For its part, Facebook said it quickly reached out to Amazon to shut down the databases once it discovered the problem. However, it’s yet another bad look for Facebook at a time when it desperately wants to regain user trust.

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