Washington: Facebook said on Tuesday that prior to September 2019 data was scraped from more than 530 million of its users.
“On April 3, Business Insider published a story saying that information from more than 530 million Facebook users had been made publicly available in an unsecured database. We have teams dedicated to addressing these kinds of issues and understand the impact they can have on the people who use our services. It is important to understand that malicious actors obtained this data not through hacking our systems but by scraping it from our platform prior to September 2019,” the social media giant said in a statement on Tuesday.
Facebook said it believes the data in question was scraped using the platform’s contact importer.
“When we became aware of how malicious actors were using this feature in 2019, we made changes to the contact importer. In this case, we updated it to prevent malicious actors from using software to imitate our app and upload a large set of phone numbers to see which ones matched Facebook users. Through the previous functionality, they were able to query a set of user profiles and obtain a limited set of information about those users included in their public profiles,” the release said.
The information, Facebook added, did not include financial information, health information or passwords.