Facebook today revealed that a bug last month set some users' suggested privacy settings for posts to public.
The problem, which Facebook said it has fixed, is the latest privacy scandal for the world's largest social media company. The company's chief privacy officer shared a very brief statement, "We'd like to apologize for this mistake".
During the period, any post an affected user published on Facebook would have automatically been posted publicly.
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The news follows a recent furor over Facebook's sharing of user data with device makers, including China's Huawei.
Teens are leaving Facebook a lot lately, so in an attempt to hold them back, it's looking towards Musical.ly for inspiration ... People could have changed the individual audience setting on posts, but would have had to notice the setting was different from what they'd chosen.
According to the company, a software bug automatically updated the audience for some users' posts from "friends only " to public without any warning.
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"It will take some time to work through all the changes we need to make across the company", Zuckerberg said on the first day of hearings. Facebook usually lets users choose how they want their content to be shared, with basic options being: "Public, Only Friends, Friends Except, Specific Friends or Only me". "These featured items are publicly visible, but Facebook inadvertently extended that setting to all new posts from those users".
Facebook said that while it was able to stop the bug on May 22, it couldn't switch all of the posts to private until May 28.
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.
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When people post to Facebook, the service suggests and audience for their posts, based on past privacy settings.