Facebook Inc. had a software bug for 10 days in May that set the audience for people's posts to "public", even if they had meant to share them just with friends, or a smaller audience.
"We'd like to apologize for this mistake", Facebook privacy chief Erin Egan said in a statement. 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. Every Facebook user, though, has the ability to change these settings to post privately, to just friends, or to exclude certain people from seeing it.
Facebook confirmed earlier this week that China-based Huawei - which has been banned by the United States 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. Normally, Facebook makes it possible for users to share photos, text, or video only with family members, work colleagues, or other specially designated contacts and preventing anyone else from seeing the content. In the process of creating this feature, Facebook said it accidentally made the suggested audience for all new posts public.
Facebook said it will notify all users who may have been hit by the programming error.
Facebook just can't get it together as we learn about another major privacy breach on their platform.More news: Melania to skip North Korea summit
More news: International Friendly Report: England v Nigeria 02 June 2018
More news: Mueller accuses Manafort of attempted witness tampering
"Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time", Egan said.
During the month of May, social media users may have been posting the posts publicly and not even realizing it thanks to another Facebook screw-up.
Facebook, which has 2.2 billion users, says the bug was active from May 18 until May 27.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNN the notification is the start of a new proactive and transparent way for the company to handle issues going forward. They'll receive a notification on the app or the website and a link to a list of anything they shared during the "oopsies" window.
It was unclear if users could have done anything to their settings to prevent being affected by the bug the company revealed on Thursday.