Hundreds of millions of Facebook records exposed on public servers report

Material discovered on Amazon cloud servers in latest example of Facebook letting third parties extract user data More than 540m Facebook records were left exposed on public internet servers, cybersecurity researchers said on Wednesday, in just the latest security black eye for the company. Researchers for the firm UpGuard discovered two separate sets of Facebook user data on public Amazon cloud servers, the company detailed in a Bloomberg, which first reported the leak, contacted Facebook. The smaller dataset was taken offline during UpGuards investigation. The data exposure is not the result of a breach of Facebooks systems. Rather, it is another example, akin to the privacy-focused platform are hampered by its own past practices and what UpGuard researchers called the …

How Zello Became a Lifeline for Venezuelans Under Maduro

Even when María sleeps, she hears the voices. One at a time, they speak of chaos, hunger, confusion. As she dreams, she hears a familiar voice explain where you can still find certain medicines. This is the latest news from the US, says another. Run, run south right now, someone warns as calmly as they can. As María makes lunch for her kids and drops them off at their school in Miami, the voices are in her ear. As she falls asleep next to her husband at night, they’re there. The voices are those of Venezuelans, as well as of those among the Venezuelan diaspora, who for years have been engulfed by political and economic crisis under the country’s authoritarian …

Here’s What It’s Like to Accidentally Expose the Data of 230M People

Steve Hardigree hadn't even gotten to the office yet and his day was already a waking nightmare. As he Googled his company's name that morning last June, Hardigree found a growing list of headlines pointing to the 10-person marketing firm he'd founded three years earlier, Exactis, as the source of a leak of the personal records of nearly everyone in the United States. A friend in an office adjacent to the one he rented as the company's headquarters in Palm Coast, Florida, had warned him that TV news reporters were already camped outside the building with cameras. Ambulance-chasing security firms were scrambling to pitch him solutions. Law firms had rushed to assemble a class action lawsuit against his company. All …

Facebook’s Pivot to Privacy Is Missing Something Crucial

If there’s one choice that Facebook has made repeatedly over the past 15 years, it’s been to prioritize growth over privacy. Users were consistently encouraged to make more of their information public than they were comfortable with. The settings to make things public were always a bit easier to use than the ones to make things private. Data was collected that you didn’t have any idea was being collected and shared in ways you had no idea it was being shared. Sometimes data was just suddenly made public all at once. They were the choices of a young man, secure in himself, and confident in the goodwill of the rest of the Internet. They were the choices of someone building …