Facebook forced log outs for millions of users whose accounts were manipulated by bugs in the website’s ‘View as’ feature. The feature, ironically designed for users to exert more control of their privacy, was exploited by hackers who copied digital log-in tokens to view profile information.
While company officials have reported the incident to authorities, it is still uncertain what actual financial damage may have occurred to victims beyond just privacy exposure due to access to users’ account information.
Who is responsible? It is unknown, but speculation has turned to Russian agents who may be seeking to influence US midterm elections at a time when political tension and mistrust are high.
On 3 October, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission announced that it would investigate Facebook for breaches of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the GDPR, the European Commission could fine a company up to 4% of its global revenue – an amount that for Facebook could be up to US$1.6 billion.
Image: Geralt / CC0
This story is taken from the 5 October 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.