Facebook Admits To Bug That Made Private Posts Of 14 Million Users Public

| June 8 , 2018 , 17:10 IST

In yet another breach of privacy, social network giant Facebook on Thursday admitted that 14 million of its users had been affected by a bug in May which would automatically make private posts public. The 'private posts' were visible by anyone, including those not logged on Facebook.

Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook Erin Egan said that the bug came up as Facebook developers were creating a new way to share featured items on profiles of users.

"Since these featured items are public, the suggested audience for all new posts -- not just these items -- was set to public," said Egan in a blog post on Thursday.

"We have started letting the 14 million people affected know -- and asking them to review any posts they made during that time," he said.

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"If you posted publicly (during the period May 18 to 27), you'll see a notification from Facebook when you log in that leads to a page with more information -- including a review of posts during this period," said Egan.

"The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they had been using before," he 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," Egan said.

"We've heard loud and clear that we need to be more transparent about how we build our products and how those products use your data -- including when things go wrong," Egan said.

The statement came after a New York Times report exposed that Facebook allowed around 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone makers, to access personal information of users and their friends. Facebook admitted to sharing data of users with Chinese companies Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

In March this year, Facebook had suffered from a massive data leak of personal information of around 87 million users by political analyst firm Cambridge Analytica, which has recently filed for bankruptcy.