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New Facebook bug may have exposed unposted photos

New Facebook bug may have exposed unposted photos

Since this Facebook bug granted private photo access to third-party apps, those apps could then download and save the photos - potentially exposing them to the world at large. The bug, which spanned the 12 days between September 13 and September 25, potentially gave developers access to other images, such as photos uploaded to the site but not yet posted, the Menlo Park, California-based firm said.

As many as 6.8 million Facebook users may be impacted by a bug affecting 1,500 apps built by 876 developers, according to a blog post from one of Facebook's directors.

The security flaw gave apps connected to Facebook the ability to see photos that users had uploaded to the social network, but not posted on the timeline. They also included photos people may have uploaded but hadn't yet posted, perhaps because they had changed their mind.

Facebook Breach Alert Notification
Facebook Breach Alert Notification

The privacy breach lasted for 12 days, ending on September 25. Earlier, it was revealed that the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica misused data of 87 million app users. The bug has been fixed and Facebook is alerting people potentially affected.

Facebook said it would start notifying affected users.

For two weeks in September, an error in the way Facebook shares photos with third parties meant that apps could see not only photos users had posted on their newsfeed, but also pictures in other parts of the site - on Facebook Stories or Facebook's Marketplace, for instance.

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Also in June, Facebook confirmed that some 14 million users had their default sharing settings changed to public for four days in May.

Facebook's privacy situation just keeps getting worse.

"We're sorry this happened", Facebook said in the blog post.

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Facebook has apologised for its privacy breach.

Revelations that the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million users led to USA congressional hearings and changes in what sorts of data Facebook lets outside developers access.

The bug apparently stemmed from a problem in Facebook's Photo API, (application program interface). A person would only be affected if at one point they gave an app permission to access their photos for a service. The company said it will notify people who have been impacted via an alert. But, the fine of a few million pounds may not feel like too much of a burden to a company that continues to remain a monopoly in the social networking space.

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