This database was available for download last week on a hacker forum belonging to a criminal network, according to a blog on the “Comparetech” website.
“We are looking into the case, but we believe it is likely that this information was taken over before changes were made to the site in the past few years to better protect people’s data,” a Facebook spokesman told AFP.
The blog said that the internet security researcher Bob Diachenko discovered this database, which was accessible, and included Facebook usernames, passwords, and phone numbers.
This discovery was reported, and the database later disappears by Thursday, so it is no longer available according to our correspondent.
The disclosure of this stolen data comes as the giant social network seeks to rebuild trust with its users and ease their concerns about protecting their information.
US organizers said earlier this month that the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was involved in a massive scandal involving the theft of Facebook data, had tricked network users into collecting and disposing of their personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission said its investigation, which began in March 2018, concluded that the dissolved political consulting firm “had engaged in deceptive practices to collect personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users to characterize them as voters and target them later.”
The committee added that the British company, which worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, made “Misleading” allegations when it attracted Facebook users to do a “Personality Test” pledging that it would not download any personal information.
The case caused a storm on the issue of data protection when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica was able to create psychological profiles for millions of Facebook users.
Facebook paid $ 5 billion in fines at the beginning of the year as a settlement with regulators for misusing user data.