FACE­BOOK IN HOT WA­TER YET AGAIN

PRI­VATE MES­SAGES ARE BROAD­CAST TO THE WORLD

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A “GLITCH” AT FACE­BOOK be­tween May 18 and 22 led to 14 mil­lion users hav­ing their pri­vate posts be­ing free for all to view, in­stead of friends and fam­ily. Ap­par­ently, Face­book ac­ci­den­tally al­tered the de­fault pri­vacy set­tings, but it took un­til May 27 for it to re­store them. This time, the trou­ble was of Face­book’s mak­ing. Soon af­ter, the com­pany started fir­ing out alerts to users to check their pri­vacy set­tings, ac­tu­ally in re­sponse to new Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion, but be­ing sent world­wide. A timely re­minder, at least.

Face­book holds huge amounts of data on any­body who’s been any­where near it—a se­ri­ous re­spon­si­bil­ity. Five days is too long to fix such a fun­da­men­tal prob­lem. Any po­ten­tial fall of Face­book’s dig­i­tal em­pire could have many causes; one of them is loss of trust.

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