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

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

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

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

The bug, which affected those users from May 18 to May 22, occurred while Facebook was testing a new feature.

Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said this did not affect past posts. The company estimates that 14 million users were affected, and is notifying users of the bug starting today.

The bug apparently happened because Facebook was building a new "featured items" option that highlights content on profiles. Facebook will also flag for the user which posts they shared between May 18 and May 27, and will show them what the privacy setting was on that post.

The flaw affected Facebook's system for 10 days in May, but Facebook says it still plans to notify users who were impacted. 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.


Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million users over several days in May. Someone can, for example, share a post with only a limited group of family and friends, or decide to make a post public so that anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook, can see it. 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.

The firm added that the notification is part of Facebook's broader and recent efforts to be more transparent about its product and how its handling privacy issues.

Facebook's 2011 consent decree with the FTC calls for the company to get "express consent" from users before sharing their information beyond what they established in their privacy settings.

After it became public that tens of millions of users had been affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook took great lengths to beef up users' privacy controls.

A Facebook booth is seen at the China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China, on May 27, 2018.

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