Facebook Bug Causes 14 Million Users Posts to be Shared Publicly
08 June, 2018, 06:00 | Author: Jeannette Greene
The bug accidentally actively changed the privacy settings for 14 million users around the world from May 18 until May 22, making all posts shared during that time visible to the public, and the company switched all settings back to the users' preferred settings by May 27, according to press reports.
The problem did not change who could see older posts, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egansaid in a statement.
During the period, any post an affected user published on Facebook would have automatically been posted publicly.
Ms Egan says the issue did not affect past posts and has apologised for the mistake. In the meantime, it has reverted the audience for any affected posts to whatever setting the user had selected previously. The affected users will then be shown which posts were marked public during the glitch.
The flaw affected Facebook's system for 10 days in May, but Facebook says it still plans to notify users who were impacted.
Facebook has been hit by another privacy scandal. The company said the bug stemmed from a public display of "featured items" at the top of user profiles.
The firm added that the notification is part of Facebook's broader and recent efforts to be more transparent about its product and how its handling privacy issues. Someone can, for example, share a post with only a limited group of family and friends, or decide to make a post public so that anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook, can see it.
Facebook confirmed earlier this week that China-based Huawei - which has been banned by the USA military and is a lightning rod for cyberespionage concerns - was among device makers authorized to see user data in agreements that had been in place for years.
'Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections, ' with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website. However, it appears that the company didn't change the settings back to what the users had set until May 27.
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