Breaking News

Millions of private Facebook posts made public

As many as 14 million Facebook users had their posts shared with a broader audience than they intended. The social-media giant says a software glitch for 10 days last month switched privacy settings to "public" for millions even if they had wanted only friends to see their posts.


A Facebook user's post typically defaults to a preselected privacy setting. However, a bug that was active from May 18 to May 27 changed posts to automatically be public.

The posts were clearly marked as public, but users who were used to their privacy settings could have easily overlooked the public designation.

The company said it went back and recategorized the affected posts to the user's default setting before the bug, and the problem has been fixed. In addition, Facebook will notify the 14 million users who could have been affected starting Thursday with an alert in their notifications.

"Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time," chief privacy officer Erin Egan said in a statement.

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

It's another misstep in Facebook's ongoing data privacy issues, spurred by revelations of a data leak that affected as many as 87 million users.

The issue resulted from Facebook's efforts to allow users to highlight items on their profiles, such as photos, the company said. The featured items defaulted to public settings, which inadvertently made all posts by the user during the affected time period also default to public.

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