Millions of Facebook users hit by Facebook privacy bug

Posted June 08, 2018

The company's chief privacy officer shared a very brief statement, "We'd like to apologize for this mistake".

After the bug was detected, Facebook engineers spent 5 days resetting posts created by affected users to private, even if that was the original intent. Facebook is now notifying 14 million people around the world who were potentially impacted by the bug to review their status updates and lock them down tighter if need be.

One of Facebook's key privacy features is that it lets people decide an audience for their posts.

Considering that Facebook has almost 2.2 billion users worldwide, the number of affected users is small. 14 million Facebook users who thought they were posting content to friends or select groups were really making it visible to the public, Facebook said on Thursday.

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It is still unclear how numerous 14 million profiles that were affected may have posted content privately without realizing they were sharing publicly. It will also show affected users a notification with an explanation and apology, and urge them to review any posts they made during the time period when the bug was active.

Users who were affected by the bug will start receiving a notification on Facebook starting Thursday.

Facebook has another privacy screw-up on its hands. And while the bug was only in effect for a few days, it's an example of how many different settings users have to be aware of on Facebook.

It's the latest in a series of high-profile embarrassments for Facebook as the company attempts to regain the trust of its users in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal information of up to 87 million users was found to have been improperly obtained by a political-research firm and used for campaign ad targeting. That way, users can reset a post that was inadvertently set to public back to being shared just with friends if they would like.

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