Facebook made some private posts public for as many as 14M

Well shucks

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned for two days on Capitol Hill in April about the importance of user security.

Thursday's disclosure comes three months after The New York Times reported that in 2016, Facebook provided personal data for more than 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a political firm with ties to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Spotted by Recode, posts from up to 14 million Facebook users that had their content set to be shared privately was changed to be publicly seen. Unfortunately, the feature caused all new posts, not just the featured items, to be made "public". "The problem has been fixed, and we changed the audience of any posts you made to what you had been using before, just in case". This bug affects posts shared between May 18 and May 22. These featured items are publicly visible, but Facebook inadvertently extended that setting to all new posts from those users.

Facebook confirmed earlier this week that China-based Huawei - which has been banned by the U.S. military and is a lightning rod for cyberespionage concerns - was among device makers authorized to see user data in agreements that had been in place for years.

"We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Egan said.

For those who are affected, Facebook will be displaying privacy notifications that appear when a user logs into Facebook via the web or mobile app.

"Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Egan said. That means if an eagle-eyed user didn't catch the bug, they likely shared some status updates publicly on Facebook that they meant to share only with friends.

Facebook has stated that these types of notifications will be used going forward to report privacy issues or breaches.

It was unclear if users could have done anything to their settings to prevent being affected by the bug the company revealed on Thursday.

Even if the bug was an accident on Facebook's part, Mayer said in an email that the FTC can bring enforcement action for privacy mistakes.

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