Facebook has brought charges against a Ukrainian citizen of stealing and selling personal data of 178 million users of the social network. It is reported on Friday, October 22, Insider.
The lawsuit was sent to the Northern District of California in the United States.
The document claims that between January 2018 and September 2019, Alexander Solonchenko, also known under the pseudonym Solomame, gained access to the identification data of accounts and phone numbers of 178 million Facebook users. According to company representatives, for this he used a special program that automatically sent requests to users through the Messenger application.
According to the plaintiff, in May 2021, Solonchenko sold the stolen data on a specialized online forum. Prior to that, he allegedly also posted on the portal the data of 10 million users of the Ukrainian Privatbank and the French analytical firm for free.
Facebook expects that the court will oblige the Ukrainian to pay damages and prohibit him from using the company’s services.
Earlier, on October 20, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Reisin announced that the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, was attracted by the defendant in a lawsuit against the company due to the scandal with the leakage of user data. He added that Facebook must take its responsibility to protect users seriously.
In April, Elon Gal, CTO of cybersecurity company Hudson Rock, reported that the personal data and phone numbers of more than 500 million Facebook users were leaked to the Internet.
The company noted that the data was extracted due to a vulnerability that the company fixed in 2019. In total, users from 106 countries were affected.
In 2018, The New York Times wrote about how the British company Cambridge Analytica was able to use the data of about 50 million Facebook users to send targeted political ads.
Former employees of the company told the publication that Cambridge Analytica specialists used the data of users who did not give their consent to this. The first revelations were followed by a series of materials in major British and American media.