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Irish Facebook users can now check whether their number is part of latest data leak

DUBLIN: Facebook users in Ireland who caught up in the leak of more than a million mobile numbers can now check through a website to see if their number has been leaked.

Users can now search their mobile numbers using in a newly updated website haveibeenpwned.com by entering the country code and full mobile number without the ‘zero’ prefix (eg: 353871234567).

The website also allows users to see if their email addresses have been used in any recent big data breaches. Troy Hunt, an IT security researcher, runs the website.

However, Facebook did not provide an adequate explanation for how and when the global dataset of 530 million Facebook accounts, including up to 1.5 million Irish accounts, was leaked and shared. The Irish Data Protection Commission has criticised the platform for its lack of communication on this issue.

The commission said it had not received any significant response from the messaging platform in its investigation into the matter. A spokesperson for the Irish DPC said: “The DPC attempted over the weekend to establish the full facts and is continuing to do so. It received no proactive communication from Facebook.”

However, a spokesperson for Facebook Ireland responded about the leak by saying, “This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”

The Irish regulator has issued a warning about the risks associated with spam and security. “Risks arise for users who may be spammed for marketing purposes but equally users need to be vigilant in relation to any services they use that require authentication using a person’s phone number or email address in case third parties are attempting to gain access,” it said.

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