The privacy of more than 14 million Facebook users is at risk following an attack by a software bug. According to the social media platform, the bug changed the private setting of the accounts. As a result, some posts intended to be private became public. The company did not reveal how it had discovered the bug. However, it did say that the bug is likely to have found its way into the user’s account as developers were trying to test a feature on users’ profiles.
A majority of the affected posts were those posted May 18 to May 22. However, the company was quick to act because, by May 27, it had adjusted the affected posts from a public setting back to a private one.
This is just the latest in a series of security issues for Facebook
In the recent past, Facebook has been under immense scrutiny from security agencies following a series of scandals. The first was about moving of over a billion users’ data with an intention of avoiding potential fines under new GDPR regulations. There was also a lawsuit over political ads in Washington plus an investigation over its role in Russian operatives in hijacking the 2016 US Presidential Election.
Shortly after all these, Facebook revealed having shared data with partners in China. While this is the latest occurrence affecting privacy, there a lot of ranging unanswered questions. However, Facebook executives have repeatedly apologized to users for failing to protect their privacy.
In a statement, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan outlined, “We have fixed this issue, and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and are asking them to review any posts they made during that time.”
Various tech companies questioned by Members of Congress
Facebook has been accused of having misused data from Cambridge Analytica; a political firm with ties to the Trump campaign. The latest unfolding has provoked the need for scrutiny of various tech firms by members of Congress. Facebook is required to explain its relationship with Huawei, a Chinese tech firm said to be a security threat to the US market.