As you may know, a data dump of 533M FB users was recently made available on an internet forum for free. A number of individuals, and organizations volunteered to help fb users search for their personal data in this trove.
Payatu Labs has created a similar site. They claim it works only for Indian phone numbers now, however they are planning to add other countries too.
The problems with this site are:
- Lack of clarify on ownership (WHOIS records of this site points to an Icelandic entity)
- Lack of clarify on retention of users’ search queries, and of course, retention and uses of the breached data
After I pointed these out, a single line disclaimer was added to the site that says:
“We do not log queried mobile numbers. Facebook Data Leak Check by”
However there’s been no formal acknowledgement from Payatu Lab’s twitter account or website about this new FB data search service, nor have they clarified their policies.
There are serious privacy issues hidden behind such services that appear to “do good”.
In an ideal world, Facebook would provide this service, failing which an appropriate data protection authority would take up the matter with Facebook. In India, MEITY/TRAI can take up the issue at the very least.