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Facebook bug set 14 million users' sharing settings to public

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Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

After Facebook employees discovered the bug, the company went back and changed the privacy settings for all posts shared by those 14 million users during that time.

To correct the error, Facebook said it has since changed all of the affected users' settings back to private - even for those aforementioned extroverts who freely keep the public apprised of all their comings and goings.

Users who noticed the change could return the suggested setting to private.

Facebook is now in the process of alerting millions of its users of a bug that occurred last month that might have made posts meant for a limited audience appear publicly.

In the process of creating this feature, Facebook said it accidentally made the suggested audience for all new posts public.

"We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said in an emailed statement.

Thursday's disclosure comes three months after The New York Times reported that in 2016, Facebook provided personal data for more than 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a political firm with ties to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Egan continued on: "To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before - and they could still choose their audience just as they always have".

Facebook confirmed earlier this week that China-based Huawei - which has been banned by the U.S. military and is a lightning rod for cyberespionage concerns - was among device makers authorized to see user data in agreements that had been in place for years.

The mistake happened when Facebook was building a new way for people to share "featured items" on their profiles, it says.

Jonathan Mayer, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said on Twitter that this latest privacy gaffe "looks like a viable Federal Trade Commission/state attorney general deception case".

In its most recent trouble, the company revealed it had been sharing data with partners in China, which happens to be the last country most privacy-conscious users would want to share data with.

According to TechCrunch, the bug came into being after Facebook developed a "featured items" option meant to highlight photos and other content, which were visible to the public. If someone made all posts "friends only" in the past, it will set their next post to "friends only" as well.

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