Another day, another data breach at Facebook, but this one really is embarrassing.
The social network giant, still reeling from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal and a security flaw last month that affected nearly 50 million users, has suffered a data protection mishap after its guest list went missing at an event it hosted at its Euston office in London on October 17.
The privacy breach was not at any old seminar though, it happened at an event entitled “Cyber security: the next 50 years”, which was hosted by Facebook and The Fulbright Commission, the US-UK scholarship programme, at their offices in Brock Street.
The panel discussion was headed by Gail Kent, Facebook’s global public policy lead on security. Fulbright scholars and security experts Jamie Collier, Cameron Colquhoun and Karen Renaud also spoke and the talk was followed by a networking reception.
But the next day guests were shocked to receive an email from Chris Horry, chief operating officer at the Fulbright Commission, which has been forwarded to Capital. “Unfortunately, I have to inform you that in the course of yesterday evening’s cyber security event, a printed guest list with the name of the invitee and email address has been mislaid,” Horry wrote. “Whilst we do not expect that the list has been misappropriated, we cannot exclude that possibility. Please rest assured we very much value your data privacy and sincerely apologise for this unfortunate incident.”
Attendees initially assumed the message was an ironic joke, given the theme of the event, and wondered whether a Facebook employee had grabbed the guest list in view of the company’s track record on this issue. Facebook and the Fulbright Commission would not comment but a Fulbright insider said the guest list was returned the next day by a Fulbright alumnus who had taken it by accident. So much for cyber hackers.
For more of the best titbits from in and around the City of London, check out Financial News’s weekly Capital Confidential column.