Facebook says privacy-setting bug affected as many as 14M - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Facebook says privacy-setting bug affected as many as 14M

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million ... (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook says a software bug made some private posts public for as many as 14 million ...

By BARBARA ORTUTAY
AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook said a software bug led some users to post publicly by default regardless of their previous settings. The bug affected as many as 14 million users over several days in May.

The problem, which Facebook said it has fixed, is the latest privacy scandal for the world's largest social media company.

It said the bug automatically suggested that users make new posts public, even if they had previously restricted posts to "friends only" or another private setting. If users did not notice the new default suggestion, they unwittingly sent their post to a broader audience than they had intended.

Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the bug did not affect past posts. Facebook is notifying users who were affected and posted publicly during the time the bug was active, advising them to review their posts. 

The news follows recent furor over Facebook's sharing of user data with device makers, including China's Huawei. The company is also still recovering from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm got access to the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users.

Jonathan Mayer, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said on Twitter that this latest privacy gaffe "looks like a viable Federal Trade Commission/state attorney general deception case." That's because the company had promised that the setting users set in their most recent privacy preferences would be maintained for future posts. In this case, this did not happen for several days.

Facebook's 2011 consent decree with the FTC calls for the company to get "express consent" from users before sharing their information beyond what they established in their privacy settings. 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.

Facebook, which has 2.2 billion users, says the bug was active from May 18 until May 27. While the company says it stopped the error on May 22, it was not able to change all the posts back to their original privacy parameters until later.

The mistake happened when the company built a new way for people to share "featured items" on their profiles. These items, which include posts and photo albums, are automatically public. In the process of creating this feature, Facebook said it accidentally made the suggested audience for all new posts public.

When people post to Facebook, the service suggests a default distribution for their posts based on past privacy settings. If someone made all posts "friends only" in the past, it will set their next post to "friends only" as well. People can still manually change the privacy level of the posts - anywhere from "public" to "only me" - and this was the case while the bug was active as well.

___

This article has been corrected to clarify that the bug led some users to inadvertently post publicly regardless of their earlier settings.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • National SportsMore>>

  • Hader headlines impressive bullpen for NL-leading Brewers

    Hader headlines impressive bullpen for NL-leading Brewers

    Monday, June 25 2018 3:04 AM EDT2018-06-25 07:04:06 GMT
    Monday, June 25 2018 3:05 AM EDT2018-06-25 07:05:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Morry Gash). Milwaukee Brewers' Josh Hader throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, June 22, 2018, in Milwaukee.(AP Photo/Morry Gash). Milwaukee Brewers' Josh Hader throws during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, June 22, 2018, in Milwaukee.
    Milwaukee's Josh Hader headlines a bullpen that has led the Brewers to the National League's best record.
    Milwaukee's Josh Hader headlines a bullpen that has led the Brewers to the National League's best record.
  • Murphy's 2-run single lifts Nationals past Phillies 8-6

    Murphy's 2-run single lifts Nationals past Phillies 8-6

    Monday, June 25 2018 2:24 AM EDT2018-06-25 06:24:21 GMT
    Monday, June 25 2018 3:05 AM EDT2018-06-25 07:05:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nick Wass). Washington Nationals' Daniel Murphy reacts after he hit a single that drove in two runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, early Monday, June 25, 2018, in Washington. The Nationals won 8...(AP Photo/Nick Wass). Washington Nationals' Daniel Murphy reacts after he hit a single that drove in two runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, early Monday, June 25, 2018, in Washington. The Nationals won 8...
    Daniel Murphy's two-run single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6.
    Daniel Murphy's two-run single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6.
  • Devon Allen wins tight 110 hurdles at USATF outdoor meet

    Devon Allen wins tight 110 hurdles at USATF outdoor meet

    Sunday, June 24 2018 9:15 PM EDT2018-06-25 01:15:41 GMT
    Monday, June 25 2018 3:04 AM EDT2018-06-25 07:04:52 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). Shamier Little celebrates as she wins the women's 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). Shamier Little celebrates as she wins the women's 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.
    Devon Allen won the 110-meter hurdles final Sunday to highlight the final session of the USATF Outdoor championships.
    Devon Allen won the 110-meter hurdles final Sunday to highlight the final session of the USATF Outdoor championships.
  • Strange NewsMore>>

  • In India, rats have a $19,000 meal

    In India, rats have a $19,000 meal

    Friday, June 22 2018 5:06 AM EDT2018-06-22 09:06:32 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 3:49 PM EDT2018-06-24 19:49:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File). FILE- In this Nov. 13, 2016 file photo, an Indian holds 2000 rupee currency notes in Jammu, India. Police say at least one rat slipped through a hole in the back of an ATM in northeastern India and ate more than $19,000 i...(AP Photo/Channi Anand, File). FILE- In this Nov. 13, 2016 file photo, an Indian holds 2000 rupee currency notes in Jammu, India. Police say at least one rat slipped through a hole in the back of an ATM in northeastern India and ate more than $19,000 i...
    Police say at least one rat slipped through a hole in the back of an ATM in northeastern India and ate more than $19,000 in currency.
    Police say at least one rat slipped through a hole in the back of an ATM in northeastern India and ate more than $19,000 in currency.
  • 2 people injured while trying to avoid hitting kangaroo

    2 people injured while trying to avoid hitting kangaroo

    Thursday, June 21 2018 4:47 PM EDT2018-06-21 20:47:54 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 3:49 PM EDT2018-06-24 19:49:34 GMT
    Trooper Matt Finley tells KWYB-TV that he thought it was joke when he was responding to the call on Wednesday morning out on Highway 2 until he saw the kangaroo. (Source: Pixabay)Trooper Matt Finley tells KWYB-TV that he thought it was joke when he was responding to the call on Wednesday morning out on Highway 2 until he saw the kangaroo. (Source: Pixabay)

    A Montana Highway Patrol Trooper says two people were injured after the driver swerved their vehicle to avoid hitting a kangaroo on the road.

    A Montana Highway Patrol Trooper says two people were injured after the driver swerved their vehicle to avoid hitting a kangaroo on the road.

  • Park system celebrates 150 years with pink flamingo record

    Park system celebrates 150 years with pink flamingo record

    Friday, June 22 2018 2:39 PM EDT2018-06-22 18:39:06 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 3:49 PM EDT2018-06-24 19:49:32 GMT
    (Zhi Ting Phua/Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy via AP). In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 photo, garden flamingos decorate a city park in Buffalo, N.Y. Park officials are tickled pink over claiming a new world record for having the longest line of the ...(Zhi Ting Phua/Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy via AP). In this Thursday, June 21, 2018 photo, garden flamingos decorate a city park in Buffalo, N.Y. Park officials are tickled pink over claiming a new world record for having the longest line of the ...
    Parks officials in Buffalo, New York, are tickled pink over claiming a new world record for having the longest line of garden flamingos.
    Parks officials in Buffalo, New York, are tickled pink over claiming a new world record for having the longest line of garden flamingos.
  • Social media newsMore>>

  • Instagram unveils new video service in challenge to YouTube

    Instagram unveils new video service in challenge to YouTube

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:12:31 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 2:11 PM EDT2018-06-24 18:11:49 GMT
    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads. (Source: Instagram/CNN)Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads. (Source: Instagram/CNN)

    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads.

    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads.

  • Egypt's president approves law for ride-hailing apps

    Egypt's president approves law for ride-hailing apps

    Sunday, June 24 2018 10:03 AM EDT2018-06-24 14:03:51 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 11:04 AM EDT2018-06-24 15:04:24 GMT
    Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has approved a law governing popular ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem after the companies appealed a court ruling that revoked their licenses.
    Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has approved a law governing popular ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem after the companies appealed a court ruling that revoked their licenses.
  • EU lawmakers miffed over new Facebook snub

    EU lawmakers miffed over new Facebook snub

    Friday, June 22 2018 7:42 AM EDT2018-06-22 11:42:26 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:13:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Some business leaders including Zuckerberg are condemning the Trump administration's decision ...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Some business leaders including Zuckerberg are condemning the Trump administration's decision ...
    EU lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
    EU lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Powered by Frankly