Facebook is fighting for months to protect people’s privacy, but the reality is that Facebook is failing again and again in providing security to users’ data. Thursday, the company said it had again failed to keep the information of millions of users private. A new privacy bug was found on Facebook which changes users’ privacy settings to public.
Facebook blamed a software bug for the problem. The company did not say how it found the privacy bug. The software bug led some users to post publicly by default regardless of their previous settings. The bug affected as many as 14 million users.
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.
How did this happen?
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, it accidentally made the suggested audience for all new posts public.
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.
Trust in Facebook has fallen by 66 percent as a result of news stories in recent months, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research firm specializing in privacy and data protection.