Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/8/2018
11:35 AM

Facebook Bug Sets 14M Users' Settings to 'Public'

The default sharing setting was accidentally changed for millions of accounts during a four-day period last month.



If you haven't checked your Facebook privacy settings in a while, now would be a good time. The social media giant recently informed users of a bug that changed the default sharing setting from "private" to "public" for about 14 million people from May 18 through May 22, 2018.

Facebook was testing a new feature that led to the bug, which automatically suggested sharing publicly when people created new posts. The new feature focuses on how to highlight items on your profile; because these are public, the suggested audience for all new posts was also public.

Upon discovering the bug, Facebook reportedly went back and adjusted the privacy settings for all posts shared by affected people during the five-day window, according to CNN.

The 14 million people affected by the bug are being notified, Facebook reports. It also urges anyone alerted to review any posts they made during that time. The bug does not affect posts made before May 18, and people can still choose their audiences as usual.

This is the latest privacy-related fumble for Facebook, which recently suspended 200 apps after the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed information belonging to millions. It doesn't help that privacy activists are filing official complaints arguing Facebook doesn't comply with GDPR.

Read Facebook's official statement here.

 

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