Facebook admits bug set 14 million users' sharing settings to public

Alfred Osborne
June 8, 2018

The social network is working to rehabilitate its relationship with users after the Cambridge Analytica controversy, which drew renewed attention to how much data the company collects.

Egan continued on: "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". Unfortunately, the feature caused all new posts, not just the featured items, to be made "public".

Facebook said that while it was able to stop the bug on May 22, it couldn't switch all of the posts to private until May 28. It happened because Facebook was building a "featured items" option on your profile that highlights photos and other content. In the meantime, Facebook has set any public posts from that period to users' previous default settings, meaning that even users who meant to make posts public will need to reset them to be globally accessible.

Facebook said this privacy setting bug affected users posting between May 18 and May 27.

Facebook posts typically default to the last "audience" a post was shared with, such as family members, friends, or friends except their boss. It is believed that the bug was live for a period of 10 days or more during the month of May.

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Those affected by this latest blunder will be shown a graphical notification soon, with the chance to review what posts may have been posted publicly by mistake.

Over the past few days, Facebook has been under scrutiny for giving Chinese company Huawei access to users' data, even though the US government has held that company under suspicion in the past over its ties to the country's communist government.

He apologized for Facebook's handling of the issue and promised that the company would be more transparent and "do better" when it comes to protecting user data and security.

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