Bulgarian blogger Bobomil Shopov announced on Tuesday that he purchased a spreadsheet that contained 1.1 million Facebook user IDs and email addresses for just $5.
The spreadsheet of data was allegedly taken from third-party applications and was offered for sale on Gigbucks by user “mertem.” After he made the purchase, Shopov made sure that the emails corresponded to the Facebook user IDs, most of which were private.
The blogger even identified people he knew on the extensive list. The day after the announcement, Shopov was contacted by Facebook’s Platform Policy Team. The email said:
“We’d like to set up a call with you to discuss a recent blog post of yours. Could you please provide a time and a phone number that works with your schedule.
“Platform Policy Team
Shopov claimed that Facebook wanted to take back the data and also investigate the leak and sale, which are clear violations of the network’s terms of service. Bogomil wrote of the exchange that, essentially, Facebook told him:
“Now we would like you to send us this file, delete it, tell us if you have given a copy of it to someone, give us the website from which you bought it including all transactions with it and the payment system and remove a couple of things from your blog. Oh and by the way, you are not allowed to disclose any part of this conversation; it is a secret that we are even having this conversation.”
Shopov eventually agreed to Facebook’s request and sent the list back, providing information about the sale. He has also since deleted the 1.1 million Facebook user emails he purchased for $5.