Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Facebook shared 14M users’ private posts with entire world

Facebook has another apology for you Facebook has another apology for you
Mandy Jefferson | 08 June, 2018, 06:17

Facebook is now in the process of alerting millions of its users of a bug that occurred last month that might have made posts meant for a limited audience appear publicly.

Facebook estimates that 14 million users are affected by the glitch, and is notifying them of it. 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. The company's chief privacy officer shared a very brief statement, "We'd like to apologize for this mistake". Every Facebook user, though, has the ability to change these settings to post privately, to just friends, or to exclude certain people from seeing it.

The software blunder comes at a time when Facebook is facing a deep mistrust from users over its practices of sharing user data with third parties without their consent.

Facebook told BleepingComputer that the "error occurred while we were building a new way to share featured items on your profile, like a photo".

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In new accounts, and most others, posts are public by default. The message from Facebook urged users to "Please Review Your Posts", and gave them a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active. Facebook will also flag for the user which posts they shared between May 18 and May 27, and will show them what the privacy setting was on that post. For ten days in May, Facebook's status-update tool did not retain user-specified privacy settings, resorting to the default instead.

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.

The news prompted swift response from lawmakers who asked Facebook for more information on those partnerships, and raised further questions about whether Facebook has violated a privacy agreement it had made with the government in 2011.

During the month of May, social media users may have been posting the posts publicly and not even realizing it thanks to another Facebook screw-up.

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