Lawmaker, AG seek number of Arizonans affected by Facebook data breach

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg after the latest data breach of user accounts.  

Rep. T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) stands ready to battle the unknown in his effort to keep the people of Arizona protected.

A recent Facebook breach left millions of users feeling vulnerable, a fair amount of them possibly Arizonans.

“We still don’t know what it means and it seems the individuals behind it did it just to show that they could,” Shope told the Arizona Business Daily. “It’s hard to say at this point what it represents, but either way my job is to protect my constituents and all the people of Arizona.”

Shope and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich are leading efforts  to discover how many Arizonans were impacted by the data breach and to better ensure users are protected in the future.

Shope previously co-sponsored House Bill 2154, which props up protections and adds notification demands for victims of any data breach.

 “I won’t know if we’ll need to pass even more legislation to protect until we find out what damage was done and what existing laws we already have to specifically address the issues,” Shope said.  “The first thing we need to do is determine what actually happened, from there the Attorney General will decipher what laws were broken.”

Brnovich fired off a terse letter to Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg demanding to know how many Arizonans were affected by the latest breach. He also pushed for the company to lead an industry-wide transformation to protect all users, states

Facebook has moved to institute safeguards, such as allowing users more control over their own privacy and notifying them when an app has misused their data.

Shoppe said he was personally among the latest group of local residents to feel the sting of being hacked.

“My campaign app and business app, which I run out of the same portal, were both hit and impacted,” he said. “You could say I feel more of a desire to really get to the bottom of what happened here given this is an issue I’ve long stood up for. It’s my job to legislate and I’m confident that the AG will prosecute if he finds that’s what needs to happen.”

High-profile breeches have seemingly been on the rise in recent times. In 2017, 143 million Equifax customers saw their personal information exposed. Forbes reports that data breeches cost U.S. companies an average of nearly $8 million in 2018

Facebook also now faces the prospect of a $163 billion fine by a European Union watchdog over a recent data breach affecting millions of users.

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