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08 June 2018, 03:50 | Cameron Gross
Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public
Facebooksaid this privacy setting bug affected users posting between May 18 and May 27.
"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts", Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan said in a statement to USA media outlets. The bug apparently affected 14 million people, although it seems Facebook doesn't know how many of those users may have actually posted something to the public. People could have changed the individual audience setting on posts, but would have had to notice the setting was different from what they'd chosen.
'We'd like to apologize for this mistake, ' she added.
The problem, which Facebook said it has fixed, is the latest privacy scandal for the world's largest social media company. During that time, the privacy settings on some users' posts were changed to public without any warning.
Facebook told CNN it took five days to implement the fix and users will be notified if they were among those impacted.
VentureBeat has reached out to Facebook for more information about who may have been affected and will update this story if we hear back.
As Recode points out, the private/public setting on Facebook will be the same for new posts as it was on previous ones. The company says it was testing out a new feature, one that would suggest people share featured profile items publicly. It is believed that the bug was live for a period of 10 days or more during the month of May.
Affected users will see an alert in their notifications about the error and will be able to review the posts that went public.
This week, it has been answering questions about the nature of data-sharing deals with handset makers including Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE.
In April, Facebook came under fire after their data as accessed and shared without their permission by consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. This means any posts that they made could be read by anyone regardless of their default setting.
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