We all know very well that after the Cambridge Analytica case, it became clear that the social network giant Facebook has serious privacy issues. Yes, now, according to the latest reports, the social network giant Facebook’s closed groups were not as confidential as we thought.
Facebook ‘Closed Groups’ Weren’t As Confidential As Some Thought
After the Cambridge Analytica case, it became clear that the social network giant Facebook has serious privacy issues. One of them was the subject of a CNBC report, which revealed the possibility of third parties having access to thousands of names of participants from closed groups.
Until recently, anyone could download an extension of Chrome that took advantage of a breach in Facebook simply to collect data in bulk. Called Grouply.io, the tool allowed the download of lists with names, profession, city, and e-mail from people who were in groups with discussions related to health, for example.
According to the report, it was precisely one of those groups that questioned the exposure of the information to the social network giant Facebook. Aimed at supporting women at genetic risk of contracting breast cancer, the BRCA Sisterhood is a closed group with about 9,000 participants.
However, the publications are not visible to anyone because they deal with sensitive issues. But even if they did not know the content of the groups, companies could use the lists to make their participants pay more for services like health insurance.
The situation was discovered by Andrea Downing, the group’s moderator, who contacted security specialist Fred Trotter. According to him, an alternative would be to transform the BRCA Sisterhood into a secret group. However, this would prevent other women from finding him for help.
On May 29, they reported the situation to Facebook for explanations. The platform only made a comeback on June 20, recognizing that the list of members could be seen by anyone – as seen on an old social networking help page. At the time, the company said it worked to offer options that would meet the demands of the group.
On June 26, participants in the group said they were not satisfied with the response. The social network giant Facebook made a fresh comeback on June 29, stating that it had stopped showing the list of members of closed groups – the help page was also updated.
The social network giant Facebook claims that the change was made based on “several factors,” but had no bearing on BRCA Sisterhood’s claims. The extension for Chrome has been terminated after the social network sends a letter of cessation and withdrawal to developers.
Although it has offered more privacy to closed groups, the social network giant Facebook may be subject to investigation by the authorities. The company may have breached the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), valid in the European Union, and other privacy laws of the United States.
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