Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14M

Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14M

The company said the mistake happened as it worked to redesign how it displays parts of user profiles that are always public. 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. If they don't check to make sure that they have the correct settings before hitting "post", they may be sharing sensitive information with users they didn't intend to. "We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Erin Egan, chief privacy officer of Facebook, told Fox News.

Facebook stopped the bug on May 22 but did not restore the proper privacy settings to all posts until May 27.

Facebook's latest privacy bug is another result of the platform moving a little too fast...

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"Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Egan said.

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This week, it has been answering questions about the nature of data-sharing deals with handset makers including Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE. Facebook usually lets users choose how they want their content to be shared, with basic options being: "Public, Only Friends, Friends Except, Specific Friends or Only me".

For those who are affected, Facebook will be displaying privacy notifications that appear when a user logs into Facebook via the web or mobile app. Those were set to be publicly visible, but Facebook accidentally extended that setting to all new posts. That way, users can reset a post that was inadvertently set to public back to being shared just with friends if they would like. These notifications state that Facebook "recently discovered a technical error between May 18 and 27 that automatically suggested a public audience when you were creating posts".

Facebook said it had reverted the audience settings to users' prior preference.

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