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Facebook Admits “Bug” Exposed Private Posts Of 14 Million Users

Bug made private posts of 14mn users public, admits Facebook

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Facebook, video chat
LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

In yet another privacy goof-up, Facebook has admitted that 14 million users were affected by a bug in May that automatically suggested posting publicly when the users were writing posts meant only for friends.

The bug made sure that the posts could be viewed by anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook. It was not yet known users in which country were affected the most.

The bug, according to Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, occurred as the Facebook developers were building a new way to share featured items on users’ profile, like a photo.

“Since these featured items are public, the suggested audience for all new posts — not just these items — was set to public.

“The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they had been using before,” Egan said in a blog post late Thursday.

The revelation came after a New York Times report exposed how the social network allowed about 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone players, to access personal information of users and their friends.

Facebook admitted sharing users’ data with Chinese company Huawei — facing the heat in the US over data privacy concerns — along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

The latest bug affected audience selector that lets users decide who gets to see the post.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Starting Thursday, “we have started letting the 14 million people affected know — and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.

“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.

It took Facebook developers five days to fix the bug.

“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.

Every time you share something on Facebook, it shows you an audience selector so users can decide who gets to see the post.

Also Read: Facebook has Rolled Out a New Feature for Music Lovers

For example, if you choose to share a photo with friends only, your audience selector will automatically suggest you share to friends next time you start a post.

“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.

Facebook is already under intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users’ data after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. (IANS)

Next Story

Four App Startups Sue Social Media Giant Facebook For Anti-Competitive Behaviour

The documents was obtained by NBC News and international journalistic partners

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Facebook replied to the lawsuit, saying it has no legal basis. Pixabay

Blaming Facebook of anti-competitive behaviour, four app startups have sued the social networking giant, alleging that it inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm competitors.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, is based on more than 7,000 pages leaked last year “from an ongoing lawsuit brought by another defunct startup known as Six4Three, which made a short-lived app known as Pikinis”.

The documents was obtained by NBC News and international journalistic partners.

The documents showed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials used their market position to squeeze potential rivals and competitors from 2011 through 2015.

“This action seeks to halt the most brazen, willful anticompetitive scheme in a generation — a scheme that verges on final, irreparable completion as of the date of this Complaint,” the complaint alleged in the class-action lawsuit.

“Facebook stands today as a paragon of unbridled market power”, said the lawsuit filed by The lawsuit was filed by LikeBright, Lenddol, Cir.cl Inc and Beehive Biometric Inc.

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Blaming Facebook of anti-competitive behaviour, four app startups have sued the social networking giant, alleging that it inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm competitors. Pixabay

Facebook replied to the lawsuit, saying it has no legal basis.

ALSO READ: “I feel that I still have to do a lot of work,” Says Veteran Writer-Lyricist Javed Akhtar

“We operate in a competitive environment where people and advertisers have many choices. In the current environment, where plaintiffs’ attorneys see financial opportunities, claims like this aren’t unexpected but they are without merit,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying. (IANS)