Facebook has once again become embroiled in a data scandal. But instead of doing damage control, the company has decided to simply sit out all the media excitement surrounding the Facebook data scandal.
At the beginning of April, the time had come once again: there was a new Facebook hack.
The personal information of more than 533 million Facebook users was published in a hacker forum. This included telephone numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, e-mail addresses. Numerous politicians were also affected.
As reported by Der Spiegel, private numbers of people who had previously been threatened by the so-called NSU 2.0 or other right-wing extremist groups also appeared in the forum.
Earlier, Alon Gal from the cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock had already drawn attention to the data leak on Twitter. He had already discovered the data in January 2021 via a paid bot.
And what is Facebook doing?
The big “social” tech giant is keeping quiet – it does not intend to inform affected users, Reuters reported just five days after the leak became known.
A spokesperson justifies this move by saying that Facebook itself does not know for sure who exactly is affected and who is not. But at least the company plugged the leak after it became known.
Facebook’s strategy: sitting out instead of clearing up the matter
Now, an accidentally sent email to Belgian IT news site Data News shows that the planned failure to inform is part of a larger strategy.
Namely, Facebook has decided not to go confrontational. Instead, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network wants to simply sit out the current Facebook data scandal in a relaxed manner. Accordingly, this is probably also the strategy for future leaks and mishaps.
Facebook data scandal remains no exception
The accidental e-mail was preceded by a press inquiry from Data News. However, the Belgian journalists had hardly expected such a detailed response.
That’s because the attachment included a statement from the European communications department about the latest data leak.
Since the regulators have zeroed in on the issue, you should expect the steady drumbeat of criticism in the press to continue. It’s important to note, however, that both coverage and discussion on social networks continue to steadily die down.
Facebook executives, who try to wash their hands of the matter in the internal memo, expect “more such scraping cases in the long run.” They say it’s important to portray them in public communications about the scandal “as a problem for the industry as a whole and, on the other hand, to normalize it as a regularly occurring activity.”
Assuming media coverage continues to wane, we do not plan to make any further statements on the problem.