Facebook launches investigation after details of one million users sold online for just £3

Read Time:2 Minute, 29 Second

By Anna Edwards

PUBLISHED:11:04 EST, 27  October 2012| UPDATED:11:21 EST, 27 October 2012


A blogger claims to have bought 1.1 million  Facebook users information for just $5.

The company, which has been recently plagued  with accusations that users’ privacy is undermined, is now facing claims that a  blogger was able to buy email addresses and user IDs which were not publicly  available.

In recent months Facebook has been accused of  allowing private messages to be made public in their new ‘timeline’ feature – an  allegation they have strongly denied.

Users' private information is valuable to companies wanting to advertise to audiences 

Users’ private information is valuable to companies  wanting to advertise to audiences

But now Bulgairan Bogomil Shopov, a blogger  and digital-rights activist, claims that he was able to buy data containing  names, user IDs and email addresses, according to NBC News.

He also alleged Facebook later asked him to  delete his post detailing the purchase, NBC  News  reported.

Shopov claims he bought the data from a user  called ‘Mertem’ on digital odd-jobs board Gigbucks, where users offer to perform  tasks in exchange for payments between $5 to $50.

‘The information in this list has been  collected through our Facebook apps and consists only of active Facebook users,  mostly from the US, Canada, UK and Europe,’ Mertem apparently wrote in the sales  description.

The list may have been intended to be used to  dishonestly improve a  brand’s Facebook page likes and fans  numbers.

Mark Zuckerberg's company posted a 32 percent jump in third-quarter revenue thanks to reignited advertising growth 

Mark Zuckerberg’s company posted a 32 percent jump in  third-quarter revenue thanks to reignited advertising growth

Such information is valuable for companies  seeking to target audiences and advertise their services to them.

Facebook said it would investigate how the  data entries were obtained, Forbes  Magazine reported.

A Facebook spokesman added: ‘Facebook is  vigilant about protecting our users from those who would try to expose any form  of user information. In this case, it appears someone has attempted to scrape  information from our site.

‘We have dedicated security engineers and  teams that look into and take aggressive action on reports just like these.

‘We continue to investigate this specific  individual.’

According to the blogger’s second post about  the alleged purchase, Facebook’s ‘policy tream’ contacted him asking to  investigate the purchase, but asked him to keep their conversation  private.
‘We would like you to send us this file, delete it, tell us if  you have given a copy of it to someone, give us the website from which you  bought it including all transactions with it and the payment system and remove a  couple of things from your blog,’ a Facebook employee from the ‘policy’  department allegedly told Shopov.

The company posted a 32 percent jump in  third-quarter revenue to $1.26 billion, thanks to reignited advertising growth  and larger-than-expected gains in mobile.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2224023/Facebook-launches-investigation-details-million-users-sold-online-just-3.html#ixzz2AWM2zfnz Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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