Facebook notifies 14M users of a bug that made status posts public

Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

Facebook today revealed that a bug last month set some users' suggested privacy settings for posts to public. The bug affected Facebook posts between May 18 and 27; although Facebook fixed the error on May 22, it took five days to reverse the problem for all affected posts.

Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million users over several days in May.

"We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Egan said.

"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.

Considering that Facebook has almost 2.2 billion users worldwide, the number of affected users is small.

The specific tool being tested was a "featured items" option on a user's profile that highlights photos and other content.

It is still unclear how numerous 14 million profiles that were affected may have posted content privately without realizing they were sharing publicly. In the meantime, it has reverted the audience for any affected posts to whatever setting the user had selected previously.

While many phone makers have said any data pulled through those channels only resided on phones, not on company servers, some critics have questioned how certain Facebook can be that those statements are true. It's admitting the mistake itself, doing so promptly, and proactively notifying anyone who is affected.

Huawei, a company flagged by USA intelligence officials as a national security threat, was the latest device maker at the center of a fresh wave of allegations over Facebook's handling of private data. However, it appears that the company didn't change the settings back to what the users had set until May 27.

Communications firms Cambridge Analytica has offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia.

Facebook data - do we get what we deserve?

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