Digital rights activist buys data of 1.1 million Facebook users for $5

By on October 26, 2012, 11:30 AM

Bogomil Shopova recently purchased a collection of 1.1 million Facebook users' names, IDs and e-mail accounts. Fortunately, the Bulgarian blogger and digital rights activist has no intentions of spamming the list or hacking into accounts- he did it to prove a point. That point, of course, was to highlight how easy it is to gather personal information from the social networking site.

Shopova reportedly found the collection of data for sale on the social market website Gigbucks earlier this month. The seller, who went by the username “mertem,” claimed the data had been collected using third party Facebook applications and consisted of active accounts mostly from the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.

The ad said the list has great potential if you are offering a Facebook, Twitter or other social media related product or service. Shopova paid less than the price of a decent meal – $5.

A Facebook spokesperson told Forbes they were looking into the security breach. The rep said Facebook had dedicated security engineers that take aggressive action on reports such as this. Because the investigation is ongoing, however, they were not in a position to discuss it further at this time. 

Facebook contacted Shopova and asked him to send them the data, delete it on his end and remove a post about it on his blog. Instead, the digital rights activist published another post on his blog detailing the call from Facebook’s security team.




User Comments: 17

Got something to say? Post a comment
RH00D RH00D said:

That's what happens when you allow a third-party app that will claim to show you the flavor of the month's "sex tape".

danhodge danhodge said:

I do not trust Facebook at all now, and am trying my hardest to get some of my friends to transfer over to Google+ - at which point, I can close my Facebook group for good.

Tygerstrike said:

This is just one of the reasons I have personally dodged both FaceBook and MySpace. The main one being I have no interest in either site. This is definatly a secondary reason. Yet again our personal information is being sold and we so nothing from it. This will prolly be a deathkneel for FB. Once it gets out that ppls personal info is being purchased, FB will have a few lawsuits. They are not protecting their members.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is why I barely use Facebook, other than for occasional communications with old friends and such. However, I am very disturbed by the massive move into Facebook by companies and corporations, which seems to be growing constantly. It's getting to the point where you need to have a Facebook account, go to a company's page, and "like" them just to get basic information you want. The depth of Facebook integration that is being implemented is ridiculous, and only seems to be getting worse... But hey, what could possibly go wrong with that?

TechMancer TechMancer said:

Oh sh*t! My facebook account is one of those. This guy has no right to my personal info! I don't give a damn that he was proving a point. I don't want him seeing my stuff! This is downright idiotic.

RzmmDX said:

I wonder if this was before the privacy controls kicked in, because it was just so easy to write a data miner and extract all the information...

Damn it, why didn't I do it so I could get a hamburger now.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Glad I bailed on FB. Never kept much personal info on there but their service has gone from being a convenient tool to a social & privacy nightmare. I had my skepticisms of Google+ when it launched (figured at the time that Facebook would remain solid, thus limiting Google's potential), but if FB keeps this up they're going to go the way of MySpace very quickly, if they aren't well down that road already.

Guest said:

The name you posted consists of a Male first name and Female last name

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

So doing the math, that would value all of facebook's users at around $5k. . . Pretty pathetic.

Guest said:

The name of the blogger is Bogomil Shopov. Source: http://talkweb.eu/about

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

"Security Breach"

I lol'd

Guest said:

$5 / (divided) 1.1 million users (1,100,000)

so you are worth about

calculator says 4.5454545454e-6

translated

so about $ .00000045 per person.

1 person liked this | Pan Wah said:

$5 / (divided) 1.1 million users (1,100,000)

so you are worth about

calculator says 4.5454545454e-6

translated

so about $ .00000045 per person.

Yes, but there will have been a discount for a bulk purchase?!

1 person liked this | p51d007 said:

On my FB account, it has:

hotmail as the address

NOT my real location

NOT my real birthday

So if they get it, not much use

GayWorldOrder GayWorldOrder said:

I agree with your logic. I too only use bogus info on my Facebook page.

Tempomail disposable email address

NOT my real name

NOT my real location

NOT my real birthday

So if they get it, I'll laugh because they didn't get SH!T.

LOL

Guest said:

If u have no need for self-indulgence... then there is no reason to be on a trending social service.

How... or why facebook exists is beyond me..

davislane1 davislane1 said:

How... or why facebook exists is beyond me..

My working theory is celebrity culture-induced narcissism combined with mob mentality. People want popularity and attention, Facebook gives them that while skimming a little data off of each minute of fame. Sort of like a deal with the devil. Only, Zuckerberg doesn't require externally-validated teens & young adults to sign in blood, he just requests they turn a blind eye to privacy concerns & click ads on command. *cue sinister conspiracy music*

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.