A lousy year for Facebook just keeps getting more miserable. Last week, further new emerged about a data breach endangering millions of users’ personal information.
The social network said 30 million accounts had been compromised, down from an earlier estimate of 50 million. So that was a little bit of good news from Facebook.
But it will provide cold comfort to the 14 million who had even more information accessed by hackers. According to CNN:
For the 14 million worst hit by the breach, the attackers were able to access the following information, Facebook said: “username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches.”Facebook said it will send a message to the 30 million users affected in the coming days and will be posting information to its help center.Facebook is regulated by Irish authorities in Europe as its European headquarters is located there. A spokesperson for the Irish data regulator said of Friday’s announcement, “The update from Facebook today is significant now that Facebook has confirmed that the personal data of millions of users was taken by the perpetrators of the attack.”
The growth plateau in the U.S. and Canada is also bad news, though it makes sense. About half of the entire population of the U.S. and Canada use Facebook every day, and that includes everybody, from infants to members of America’s Greatest Generation. Eventually, you just reach a saturation point, and Facebook seems to have found it.