Previously in our article – 533 million Facebook users’ data leaked – are you one? we reported that Facebook had suffered a data breach as the personal information of many millions of Facebook users around the world had been leaked. Recently it was announced that LinkedIn, another social media giant was victim of a data breach, and it is estimated that over 500 million user’s data had been posted online for sale. Reports also emerged that social network group Clubhouse had also leaked user information.
LinkedIn announced data breach that exposes 92% of users
News agencies confirmed the LinkedIn data breach, the second such breach in recent months. The final number of user’s involved in the LinkedIn breach is 700 million users and the data stolen could include sensitive personal data including, full names, company information, addresses, phone numbers and links to social media accounts. The stolen data is reportedly being sold by a user through a hacker forum and is purported to be available on the dark web. LinkedIn confirmed that although they are still investigating the issue, ‘the posted dataset appears to include publicly viewable information that was scraped from LinkedIn combined with data aggregated from other websites or companies.’
Do the big tech companies acknowledge their data breaches?
The audio platform Clubhouse, recently called the data breach reports, ‘misleading and false,’ and declared it hadn’t been hacked. When data from 1.3 million users was posted online the company said that all the information was public and could be found on their App, so it did not consider it a data breach. Similarly, Facebook and LinkedIn had the same response, confirming that their stolen data was also public data. However, according to the Data Protection Act, the fact that the information was public is irrelevant, as the legal definition states that a data breach occurs when ‘a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted,
Do big tech companies care about users’ information?
Data protection laws were introduced to help protect consumers and keep their personal data safe. We recently reported that in the Irish courts a digital privacy court case is getting ready to take action against Facebook on behalf of EU citizens involved in the recent data breach. According to the Director of Rights in Ireland this would be the first case of its type, and if the court finds the data protection laws have been breached, Facebook could face fines of up to 4% of its turnover.
Will the potential protection fines encourage big tech to keep our data more secure?
The data protection rules should encourage the social media giants to review their security operations, but users must remember that they aren’t actually the tech company’s customer. Big tech earns profits from advertising revenue, so this is the main focus for all these companies. The tech companies ask users to provide detailed personal information such as date of birth, gender. Big tech has all our user data and understands our habits and interests and social connections. All of this information is valuable and enables them to secure highly profitable advertising deals as advertisers can start to accurately target us for relevant personal advertising.
Learn how to protect yourself from data breaches
If you are going to join social media websites or Apps, we recommend that you check their service and security first. Make sure you review their privacy settings so you know how they will use your data, and who they share it with. When you use social media do not accept connections from people you don’t know. Finally, it is also important to regularly change your password and login details.
Use a secure mobile phone to reduce the chance of being subject to a personal data breach
Our Blackphone PRIVY don’t have social apps installed so you are at a reduced risk of your data being stolen. Over the last few years, we have witnessed incidents where smartphone security and privacy has been breached by people using third party smartphone Apps. As Apps can gain access to a large amount of varied personal information such as, profile information, age, date of birth, photos, location details, it is worth considering purchasing a phone which doesn’t risk you losing personal data, as you don’t want your data sold to third party advertisers either.
For more information read, Blackphone Privy – the solution to App based security leaks.
If you are concerned that your data has been breached by Facebook, LinkedIn, Clubhouse or any other social media company and you would prefer to use the most secure mobile phone available, please contact us on +44 (0)871 666 9 666. We can introduce you to the Blackphone and reduce your mobile security risks. We will also discuss how we keep your personal data safe by setting up Smartphone privacy and security personalised for you.