The data of 100 million Facebook users was emptied on the file sharing service Bit Torrent.
Ron Bowes, Canadian security researcher, wanted to help with the testing of login attacks.
Bowes wanted to help other researchers, and he put the information on Bit Torrent. It was downloaded several hundred times, and made its way to Pirate Bay.
Bowes pulled account names, URLs and contact details. The names of those users’ friends, even if they were not listed in search engine results.
“As I thought more about it, and talked to other people, I realized that this is a scary privacy issue,” per Bowes blog post. “I can find the name of pretty much every person on Facebook.” Facebook helpfully informs you that “anyone can opt out of appearing here by changing their Search privacy settings,” but that doesn’t help much anymore considering I already have them all and you will too, when you download the torrent. Suckers!” His post continued.
“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” Facebook’s statement. “In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook. Similar to the white pages of the phone book, this is the information available to enable people to find each other, which is the reason people join Facebook.”