Cambridge University Suffers Data Leak – 3 Million Facebook Accounts Affected

There’s been another security incident. This time, the University of Cambridge suffered a 3 million Facebook account data leak.

It’s the latest security incident this month. The University of Cambridge apparently left the information of 3 million Facebook accounts exposed on an unsecured web server. The information was left out in the open for four years before being discovered by security researchers.

If you’ve used the personality quiz “myPersonality”, then chances are, your information is part of the 3 million accounts exposed. The information contains psychological profiles and other sensitive information about users.

“This type of data is very powerful and there is real potential for misuse,” says Chris Sumner at the Online Privacy Foundation.

This represents the second security incident that affects Facebook users. Back in April, LocalBox suffered its own data leak, exposing 48 million accounts spread across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

That, of course, follows up privacy concerns about the handling of personal information by Cambridge Analytica. The controversy saw the company declare bankruptcy and shut down earlier this month. While some theorized the shut down wouldn’t make the concerns surrounding Facebook privacy go away, but it ultimately muted the discussion somewhat.

In terms of security incidences, this month actually seemingly got off to a slow start. It did, however, start off with a bang with 34.5 million Aadhaar accounts being compromised. What followed was the Chili’s data breach which saw an unknown number of credit cards compromised.

If anything, May is looking like yet another eventful month for security incidences. Certainly the size of each breach is larger than what we observed in previous months. It’s unclear if this latest security incident will really change much of anything. Given that the last data leak surrounding Facebook accounts barely made a dent in the discussion surrounding Facebook privacy, it doesn’t look promising this one will do much more either.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.


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