Facebook bug set 14 million users’ sharing settings to public

08 June, 2018, 02:52 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

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. Your secrets are safe - unless someone saw them, of course.

It said the bug automatically suggested that users make new posts public, even if they had previously restricted posts to "friends only" or another private setting.

Users who were affected by the bug will start receiving a notification on Facebook starting Thursday.

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"Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Egan said. 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.

Norman Sadeh, co-director of Carnegie Mellon University's Privacy Engineering Program, said that although Facebook survived temporary losses of trust from the public in the past, the recent scandals appeared to be taking their toll on the social media company.

How did this happen? 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.

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During the period, any post an affected user published on Facebook would have automatically been posted publicly.

The bug affected as many as 14 million people, the company said. And while the bug was only in effect for a few days, it's an example of how many different settings users have to be aware of on Facebook. He apologized for Facebook's handling of the issue and promised that the company would be more transparent and "do better" when it comes to protecting user data and security.

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