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.

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