The bad guys took advantage of Facebook to create personal profiles of ordinary people. Those profiles are starter kits for identity theft. In other words, Facebook messed up, much worse than first thought.
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Here's what's been happening. We've all heard about those major league hacks – Equifax, Yahoo, etc. Criminals stole your info, and put it up for sale on the dark web. Another bunch of bad guys bought it, and fed it into Facebook’s search box. Using that tool, they were able to match the anonymous info with full names, addresses and anything else you put on Facebook, including pictures. That amounts to a full profile of you, sometimes to be used for malicious purposes, like identity theft.
Facebook, therefore, has been instrumental in letting the bad guys exploit your information. Their internal controls were lax. They failed to get a grip on its own system. And it’s been going on for years.
Now what? It sure looks like some kind of restriction will be placed on what Facebook can do with your information. There's got to be a new rule! And surely, you will be given more control over what Facebook can do with your stuff.
This is a big deal, because it’s going to shake up the entire data mining industry. The info collectors and the info miners.
Which brings us to Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder. He faces the politicians next Wednesday. They will be grandstanding, showing voters they care. He will have to show contrition. He will have to take responsibility. But he will also have to defend the business model he created, which is: a free service that links the world, in return for the use of your information.
It will be one of those moments of great political theater, deciding the future of a gigantic global industry.
Of course we'll cover it!