Facebook has been used as a host by cybercriminals who advertised and sold social security numbers, alleged credit card numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of dozens of people, Motherboard reports.
The social media giant later took down the accounts and pages, but a Google search still pulls up several public Facebook posts offering to sell personal details including credit card numbers.
"We work hard to keep your account secure and safeguard your personal information," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Motherboard. "Posts containing information like Social Security numbers or credit card information are not allowed on Facebook, and we remove this material when we become aware of it."
Hackers have reportedly advertised databases of private information on Facebook for years, and some of the data appears real according to Motherboard, a subsidiary of Vice Media. The news site confirmed the names, addressed, dates of birth, and first four digits of the social security numbers for four people whose information appears in a July 2014 post.
"I am surprised how old some of the posts are and that it seems Facebook doesn't have a system in place for removing these posts on their own," independent security researcher Justin Shafer told Motherboard in an online chat. "Posts that would have words flagged automatically by their system."
Lawmakers over the last year have criticized Facebook for its role in election interference, and last week CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress over Cambridge Analytica's improper use of 87 million Facebook users' personal data to target voters.
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