Facebook Bug Causes 14 Million Users Posts to be Shared Publicly

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.

"We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

Facebook told Recode and TechCrunch that as many as 14 million users may have been affected and had their posts made public incorrectly, adding that those people would be notified and asked to review their posts from that period. It happened because Facebook was building a "featured items" option on your profile that highlights photos and other content.

A bug was live from May 18 to May 27 where about 14 million Facebook users around the world had their default sharing setting for all new posts set to public, the company revealed. The affected users will then be shown which posts were marked public during the glitch.

Huawei, a company flagged by US intelligence officials as a national security threat, was the latest device maker at the center of a fresh wave of allegations over Facebook's handling of private data.

Facebook has been having a rough time with privacy and trust recently.

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. They'll see a message from Facebook urging users to "Please Review Your Posts" and a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active. And while the bug was only in effect for a few days, it's an example of how many different settings users have to be aware of on Facebook.

Facebook posts typically default to the last "audience" a post was shared with, such as family members, friends, or friends except their boss. However, it appears that the company didn't change the settings back to what the users had set until May 27.

  • Fernando Stephens