Facebook users’ posts accidentally made public
A glitch that lasted several days changed the privacy settings for 14million, report says
Facebook admitted Thursday that 14 million users’ posts were accidentally made public for several days in May due to a technical bug.
The bug accidentally actively changed the privacy settings for 14million 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 set- tings back to the users’ preferred settings by May 27, according to press reports.
Affected Facebook users will soon get a notice on the app and website Thursday and receive a link to all of their posts during the four days when the bug was active, according to CNN, which first broke the news.
“We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts,” said Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, in a statement. “We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”
Egan also noted that the bug did not disclose any private posts made before May 18.
Facebook’s admission comes at a testy time for the Menlo Parkbased social network, which continues to deal with a stream of privacy-related scandals set off by the revelation this year that political firm Cambridge Analytica had obtained millions of users’ personal information without their permission.
Facebook was back in the spotlight in the past few days after the New York Times reported that Facebook had data-sharing contracts with device makers like Apple and Samsung. It also reportedly shared data with Chinese smartphone companies like Huawei, whose smartphones the heads of the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency and the director of national intelligence warned U.S. citizens not to use in February.
Facebook said that the data-sharing relationships withHuawei and other Chinese companies were “controlled from the get-go.”
“All Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL were controlled from the get-go — and Facebook approved everything that was built,” said Francisco Varela, Facebook’s vice president ofmobile partnerships, to the New York Times. “Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei’s servers.”