Between censorship of conservatives and leaking private data to the world, social media companies are not really winning the trust and loyalty of their users. Now Facebook shot itself in the foot by mishandling millions of passwords.
In a blog post put out by Facebook on March 21, Vice President of Engineering, Privacy and Security Pedro Canahuati explained, “we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.” According to CNBC, more than 600 million passwords were left exposed, unencrypted, and available to the public. Tens of thousands of employees were able to access those passwords.
Facebook announced that it would be alerting both Facebook and Instagram users who had had their passwords exposed. The company stated that none of the passwords were viewed by people outside of Facebook. As of 2018, more than 35,000 people work at Facebook.
Users were advised to change their passwords even though “no passwords were exposed externally.” Twitter and Github have also suffered from these bugs in the past, according to Tech Crunch.
In a memo published on March 6, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he was ready to focus on more privacy at Facebook. Foreign governments, especially the European Union and the United Kingdom, are looking into regulating Facebook because of all the data and privacy scandals that have plagued the company in the past year.
In a more egregious breach of privacy, Facebook admitted to giving out messages of private users for advertising purposes.