The inquiry stems from “multiple international media reports, which highlighted that a collated dataset of Facebook user personal data had been made available on the internet,” the Commission said in a statement.
“This dataset was reported to contain personal data relating to approximately 533 million Facebook users worldwide. The DPC engaged with Facebook Ireland in relation to this reported issue.”
Further, “The DPC … is of the opinion that one or more provisions of the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook Users’ personal data,” it said. “Accordingly, the Commission considers it appropriate to determine whether Facebook Ireland has complied with its obligations.”
Earlier this month, a cybersecurity publication reported that the phone numbers and other account details of approximately 533 million Facebook users had recently been posted on the dark web. In response, Facebook said that the data was old and that it "was previously reported on in 2019 ... We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
Some experts, however, said the hacked information could still be useful to cyber-criminals.
In other Facebook news Wednesday, Vertical Group said it remains positive on the company. And Wedbush downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform, lowering its price target to $340 from $375.
TheStreet.com founder Jim Cramer recommended last week that investors stay long Facebook.
Also last week, Facebook said it removed 14 networks from its various social media platforms for trying to "sway politics around the world," Bloomberg reported.
Facebook stock recently traded at $304.77, down 1.6%. It has risen 18% over the past six months amidst strong digital ad demand.