Facebook isn’t providing identity theft protection for users
Following up on Facebook’s latest data scandal, new updates have been rolling in. For instance, did you know that only 30 million accounts were breached in total, and not the 50 million as initially reported? I guess the company found that 40% reduction satisfactory enough to justify their latest action—or inaction, as it were. I am referring to Facebook’s recent announcement that it will not be offering the customary identity theft protection for those affected.
We’ve taken note here before whenever a breached entity’s actions seemed indifferent. We’ve seen behavior that I would describe as incorrect, sometimes with egregious mistakes being made. But this takes it to a new level of gall and disdain. Offering customers fraud prevention services has long been a staple response for breached companies. Target did it, as did Sony when the Playstation Network was hacked. And rightfully so. It should go without saying at this point but apparently it doesn’t: that if you’re entrusted with protecting people’s personal data, especially if you’re monetizing it, you have a responsibility to, you know, actually protect it.
If you don’t, then the responsibility morphs into proper response. Neglecting to help lower the risk of identity theft is not proper response. It almost looks like that at this point in the game, after so much scrutiny and so many data issues, Facebook feels like just dropping the pretense of doing the right thing. Almost as if they were counting on people’s ‘fatigue’ (that recent buzzword) toward data breaches to escape accountability and scoot by on the bare minimum. That is all I can surmise from this decision.
The company states it is taking a proactive approach to the matter. Speaking to the BBC, however, a company spokesperson said they would not be taking the aforementioned step at this time. Who knows, perhaps that will change in the future, whether through sufficient public pressure, or their own internal efforts. Until then, all this writer can do is kvetch on the Internet.
Meanwhile, Facebook says it’s now working with the FBI to help with its investigation. Hopefully we’ll receive more information in the future, but right now, 20 million more users can rest easy. They don’t have to worry about information like their names, emails, phone numbers, location, work and device information, and more.