Phone numbers of 419 million Facebook users leaked by database publically accessible

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Tech giant Facebook has found itself embroiled in contention once again after millions of phone numbers of users were found on a database accessible to all.

As per TechCrunch, the database contains records of over 419 million Facebook users all around the globe with 133 million hailing from the US, 18 million from UK and 50 million from Vietnam.

While the records were amassed on the database through a tool that was disabled years ago by social media website, the online databank has now been taken offline after the web host was reached out to by the publication.

Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer in a blog post dated April 4, 2019 had addressed the issue of the website’s tool getting abused: “Malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery,” he said.

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way. So we have now disabled this feature,” he added.

Regarding the debacle, Facebook responded saying: “This data set is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers.”