Facebook yet is again at the center of a fresh privacy controversy after revealing that it had been inadvertently sharing private posts publicly for some 14 million users. The company revealed that when attempting to test a feature on users’ profiles, developers introduced a bug that exposed the posts of some individuals who thought they were posting privately potentially causing them to post sensitive friends-only content to the whole world.
Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan wrote to TechCrunch in a statement:
“We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone 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. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”
According to CNN, who first broke the story, a bug caused the company to ignore these settings for millions of users for four days last month.
Introduced on May 18, the bug was first addressed on May 22, a fix that changed every affected post to private, even if the user had originally intended to post it publicly.
A second update was issue May 27, which Facebook claims fully corrects the previous issue.
Starting today, affected users will begin seeing messages from Facebook that encourage them to “Please Review Your Posts.” These prompts will include a link to what may have been shared during the period before the bug was fixed by Facebook.