Facebook admits bug set 14 million users' sharing settings to public

08 June, 2018, 02:53 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

Even if the bug was an accident on Facebook's part, Mayer said in an email that the FTC can bring enforcement action for privacy mistakes.

Facebook said that while it was able to stop the bug on May 22, it couldn't switch all of the posts to private until May 28.

The flaw only affected Facebook's system for 10 days in May, but Facebook says it still plans to notify users who were impacted by the bug. To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before - and they could still choose their audience just as they always have. A bug in May accidentally changed the suggested privacy setting for status updates to public from whatever users had set it to last, potentially causing them to post sensitive friends-only content to the whole world. The affected users will then be shown which posts were marked public during the glitch.

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Facebook said that it was today beginning to notify affected users.

Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million users over several days in May.

It's the latest in a series of high-profile embarrassments for Facebook as the company attempts to regain the trust of its users in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal information of up to 87 million users was found to have been improperly obtained by a political-research firm and used for campaign ad targeting.

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In response to the problems, the company has added a number of new privacy controls, as well as a centralized page for privacy and security settings. They'll see a message from Facebook urging users to "Please Review Your Posts" and a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active.

The bug affected as many as 14 million people, the company said.

For those who are affected, Facebook will be displaying privacy notifications that appear when a user logs into Facebook via the web or mobile app.

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