El Paisano

Is Your Information Safe? Over 48 Million Online User Profiles Leaked

Hackers+aren%27t+the+only+people+you+have+to+look+out+for.+There+are+firms+being+given+your+private+information%2C+but+can+they+be+trusted%3F
Hackers aren't the only people you have to look out for. There are firms being given your private information, but can they be trusted?

Hackers aren't the only people you have to look out for. There are firms being given your private information, but can they be trusted?

via Google Images

via Google Images

Hackers aren't the only people you have to look out for. There are firms being given your private information, but can they be trusted?

Are you sure your information is safe on the ‘net?

Forty-eight million user profiles from the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn had their information leaked, without their knowledge or consent, by a little-known data firm back in February of this year.  The incident just came to light this past Wednesday, April 18.

The Washington-based Localblox is the firm that slipped up and left millions of users’ private info out in the open.  Localblox is a company that has access to multiple sites’ user profiles.

Crunchbase, a website that helps find innovative companies, says Localblox “is a technology company that builds highly scalable neighborhood platforms, aggregating 27M+ business profiles with rich meta data, millions of active events, crime incidents, neighbor profiles and news from thousands of sources – all updated and augmented real-time and mapped into 112K neighborhoods.”

The Localblox leak came after they uploaded a 1.2 terabytes file (enough to hold 200,000 songs or 500 hours of movies) with 48 million user profiles into a unsecured Amazon cloud storage account. The file was unlocked and free to be downloaded by anybody who came across it.

Chris Vickory, a director of cyber risk research at Upguard, a security firm, found the data. After finding the information in late February, Vickory informed Localblox’s chief technology officer, Ashfaq Rahman.

Rahman wasted no time getting his team to fix the problem. The file was secured within hours of Vickory’s finding.

This isn’t the only news of private information being given to firms this year. In March of this year, a New York Times report showed that in 2016, Cambridge Analytica gained over 50 million Facebook users’ private information.

The firm had been hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign team and had “offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.” This finding is till being investigated.

With firms from Localblox to Cambridge Analytica having access to online user profiles, it seems like private information can leak and wind up in anybody’s hand at any given moment. With the social media-crazed time we’re in, internet users have to be as careful as ever.

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Is Your Information Safe? Over 48 Million Online User Profiles Leaked