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Almost 3 million EU citizens hit by Facebook data breach

Facebook has reportedly told the European Union that nearly three million people in the bloc could have been affected by the data-sharing scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

According to EU Commission spokesman Christian Wigand, Facebook said that up to 2.7 million citizens may have had their data breached.

Mr Wigand said that the EU’s justice commissioner Vera Jourova will have a telephone call with Mark Zuckerberg early next week regarding the data breach.

The EU and Facebook will discuss changes Facebook needs to make to protect its users in the wake of the scandal, and consider how Facebook needs to adapt to new EU data protection rules which will be implemented on 25 May.

Mr Wigand added that the EU’s data protection authorities will discuss over the coming days “a strong co-ordinated approach” on how to deal with the investigation into Facebook.

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EU authorities are to consider how to handle the Facebook scandal

Last week, Mr Zuckerberg avoided apologising for the scandal by saying: “You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time.”

Although the data was openly given by Facebook to the university researcher, the company has said that this was legitimate and that only its further transfer to Cambridge Analytics was illicit.

The university researcher referenced, Aleksandr Kogan, allegedly developed This Is Your Digital Life, which allowed Cambridge Analytica to potentially unlawfully collect the data of up to 87 million Facebook users, as of Facebook’s last estimate.

The figures released by the EU are part of Facebook’s last estimate, which also includes 70,632,350 users in the US. About a million users in the UK are believed to have been affected.

Meanwhile, the company has warned that it is “reasonable to expect” that potentially every Facebook user has had their phone number and email address scraped from the site.

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