Facebook is looking to "normalize" data leaks and frame the recent data scraping controversy as a "broad industry issue."
The news comes after Facebook once again came under fire as 533 million user data had been compromised, including Facebook IDs, full names, phone numbers, and dates of birth.
Facebook's Internal Memo Leak
According to a report from the Belgian tech news site DataNews, which was posted on Apr. 20, Facebook's European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PR team "accidentally" sent the controversial internal memo to them.
The report said that an alleged memo, which is dated Apr. 8, talks about the data scraping controversy involving leaked personal data of 533 million Facebook users that were put up on a hacker forum.
The memo tells of the tech giant's long-term PR strategy on dealing with Facebook leaks and user data scraping, which is to "normalize" that data leaks "happen regularly."
The alleged memo also states that Facebook does not plan to release additional statements about the data scraping controversy under the assumption that the news continues to decline.
Additionally, the memo apparently acknowledges that more scraping incidents will be revealed soon, making it important to frame data scraping as a broad industry issue.
Lastly, the PR strategy to let the most recent data scraping controversy die down and "educate" the masses about the practice is an effort to avoid criticisms about not being transparent about the issue.
The social media giant had been facing data leak controversies left and right since the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2017.
Facebook's Response to the Data Scraping Controversy
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the memo when Business Insider inquired about the leak, which they reported on Apr. 20.
"We understand people's concerns, which is why we continue to strengthen our systems to make scraping from Facebook without our permission more difficult and go after the people behind it," the spokesperson said. "That's why we devote substantial resources to combat it and will continue to build out our capabilities to help stay ahead of this challenge."
In addition, Facebook's Product Management Director Mike Clark posted a blog on Apr. 6 to answer the issue about the alleged leak.
In his blog post, he explained that the practice of data scraping is a common tactic, and only lifts information that is readily available online.
He added that those who perform data scraping uses automated software to obtain public information from the internet, and the data obtained usually ends up being distributed in such places as online forums.
"We believe the data in question was scraped from people's Facebook profiles by malicious actors using our contact importer prior to September 2019," Clark wrote, adding that the feature was intentionally made to help users connect to friends easier.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Lee Mercado