THE FACEBOOK MEGA-BREACH affected three million users in Europe, the Irish Data Protection Commission (IPDC) has confirmed.
While Facebook has remained tight-lipped on how many European users were stuck by the breach, the data watchdog told CNBC that 10 per cent of the 30 million affected accounts were based in Europe.
It remains unclear how severely these three million users were hit, but it's likely some had masses of data stolen in the breach, which occurred when hackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code to access users' authentication tokens.
Facebook confirmed earlier this week that one million accounts had no, and 14 million lost what Facebook calls basic contact information - a name and an email address or phone number.
The remaining 15 million got the worst of it: basic information, plus extra data which may include gender, religion, relationship status, education, work, location, device information and the 15 most recent searches they had done at the time.
The IDPC is leading an investigation into the breach, which under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), could see Facebook fined up to $1.63bn, or four per cent of its $40.7bn in annual global revenue for the previous financial year, if the EU determines it didn't do enough to protect users' security.
"The update from Facebook last Friday, 12 October, was significant as Facebook has confirmed that the personal data of millions of users was taken by the perpetrators of the attack," said a spokesperson for the IDPC.
"The Data Protection Commission's statutory investigation into the breach and Facebook's compliance with its obligations under the GDPR continues."
Facebook has yet to comment on these latest revelations but previously remarked: "We're working with regulators including the Irish Data Protection Commission to share preliminary data about Friday's security issue. As we work to confirm the location of those potentially affected, we plan to release further info soon."
According to the IDPC, Facebook will provide a more detailed country-by-country breakdown as and when this is determined. µ
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