The government’s privacy agency is probing a possible large-scale data breach involving 879,699 Facebook accounts of Filipinos.
This developed after it was reported that details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for use by hackers.
The National Private Commission said in a statement that data leaked includes phone numbers, full names, location, e-mail address, and biographical information of users across several countries.
“As we await more answers, we highly encourage Facebook users to be more cautious online. We reiterate the need for the regular changing of passwords and the activation of two-step authentication of accounts to safeguard their personal information,” the agency said.
“We assure the public that the NPC is on top of this matter,” it added.
The availability of the data set possibly sourced from Facebook was first reported by Business Insider. According to that publication, it has information from 106 countries including phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, and email addresses.
Facebook has been grappling with data security issues for years. In 2018, the social media giant disabled a feature that allowed users to search for one another via phone number following revelations that the political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — nearly all U.S.-based — on the open internet. It is unclear if the current data dump is related to this database.