Fresh Facebook privacy glitch hits 14 million people

Company apologises after users unknowingly shared private posts with the public

Zuckerberg
Company founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies to the US Congress following the Cambridge Analytica revelations
(Image credit: 2018 Getty Images)

Facebook has warned that a software bug has led to millions of users unknowingly posting their private data to the public.

According to The Guardian, the glitch affected the social media giant’s “audience selector” feature, which lets users choose whether everyone or just those in their friends list can view a post.

The tool is meant to default to the option most recently selected by the user, but the bug switched that setting to “public” between 18 and 22 May, while Facebook was testing a new feature.

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Around 14 million affected users posted publicly while the bug was active, with images or statuses intended only for friends instead shared with anyone accessing the social network, the Financial Times says.

The glitch has since been fixed and the company has begun informing the users involved, the newspaper adds.

Facebook privacy chief Erin Egan said: “We’d like to apologise for this mistake.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are letting anyone affected know today and asking them to review Facebook posts they made during that time.”

The recent glitch is “relatively minor”, but BBC News says it is still “another embarrassing slip-up” for a company desperately working to rebuild trust following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

A Facebook spokesperson told the broadcaster that the company aims to be “more transparent with users”.

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