Change Edition

Facebook data leak affects 188,000 in Luxembourg, PM says
Data leak

Facebook data leak affects 188,000 in Luxembourg, PM says

by John MONAGHAN 14.04.2021 From our online archive
Xavier Bettel was reportedly among those whose details were shared
Photo credit: AFP

Social media platform Facebook's most recent data leak hit more than 188,000 users in Luxembourg, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has said.

Bettel reportedly was one of the more than half a billion Facebook users worldwide whose personal data - such as phone numbers, birth dates, full names and Facebook IDs - re-emerged online earlier this month. 

“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” a Facebook spokesperson said in response to the story earlier this month. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”

In response to a written parliamentary question, Bettel said that “the current hypothesis is that 188,201 accounts” are affected, but stressed that “work is ongoing to confirm this figure”.

The Facebook leak was followed by another reported breach at LinkedIn last week which saw the personal data of 500 million accounts put up for sale. 

Luxembourg’s data protection agency (Commission nationale pour la protection des données, CNPD), has been liaising with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) over the Facebook case. Ireland is leading the probe into the leak because Facebook has its EU headquarters in Dublin.

The number of likely affected users Bettel cited mirrors the figure for Luxembourg shared by Alon Gal, chief technology officer of cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, who spotted the data online again in early April.

Despite Facebook addressing the technical issue which allowed the information to be leaked in the first instance, the details have continued to spread online. 

As Amazon has its EU headquarters in Luxembourg, the CNPD is the lead regulator for the US online retail giant. It is probing reports that the company was snooping on users as the EU was considering sanctions against it.

The Luxembourg Times has a new mobile app, download here! Get the Luxembourg Times delivered to your inbox twice a day. Sign up for your free newsletters here.