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Worried about the Facebook data leak? Indian users can now use their phone number to check if they were affected

The leaked data from Facebook’s servers also includes names, email IDs, birthdays and phone numbers – critical information about people that could be misused for nefarious purposes, like stealing someone’s identity.

Facebook's privacy woes continue. Facebook's privacy woes continue.
Facebook's privacy woes continue. (Unsplash)

Facebook on Tuesday declared that the massive user leak containing the personal information of 533 million users was actually due to the scraping of contact information which the company stopped in 2019. However, that doesn’t change the fact that user data was leaked — and Indian users can now find out whether their own data was affected or leaked.

Also read: Facebook responds to data leak, says data was scraped and not ‘hacked’

The leaked data from Facebook’s servers also includes names, email IDs, birthdays and phone numbers – critical information about people that could be misused for nefarious purposes, like stealing someone’s identity. On Wednesday, Saikat Datta, strategic advisor for The Dialogue tweeted that cybersecurity company Payatu had come up with a solution for Indian users to check if their data was leaked.

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Users can click on the link in the tweet, or visit fbleaks.com which will presumably check a copy of the leaked database for any personal information. The website is currently barebones at the moment and only features a single search field where users can enter their mobile number, but it is possible that the company may bring additional functionality in the future. 

A screenshot of the website offering to check whether users were affected by the data leak in 2019.
A screenshot of the website offering to check whether users were affected by the data leak in 2019. (Payatu)

 The site also carries a message above the search field that states: “This service only works for Indian numbers as of now, but we are planning to include all affected countries in the near future”. Users must input a mobile number and solve an hCaptcha challenge before performing a search.

Read more: Facebook leak: How to download your data and delete the account

However, many users will be wary of entering their number on an unknown website. Non-Indian users and users who don’t want to search with their phone number can use the well-known data breach tracker and search website ‘Have I Been Pwned’ by researcher Troy Hunt. You can simply enter your email address associated with your Facebook account in order to check whether it was affected during the breach.

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