A Facebook error has exposed private images of up to 6.8 million users. The error means that thousands of third party apps had potential access to images they did not have permission to display. The worst thing is how much time Facebook took to reveal the event.
Facebook's Very Bad Year
It's fair to say that Facebook has not had a good 2018. It was the Cambridge Analytica scandaleveryone should be familiar with now. And over a backdrop of people who erase Facebook, the social network has ongoing problems that hold people's trust.
The issues run deeply, with Facebook that strikes the spread of fake news, advertising campaigns with potential for influencing choices and an apparent salmon attitude towards users' data and privacy. And now we get the news that private photos were exposed to apps.
Facebook Discloses New Bug
Facebook revealed the event in a Facebook for Developers Blog post. The social network explains that this error has affected "people who used Facebook Login and granted permission to third party apps to access their photos."
To check if you are affected by Facebook's latest error involving photo sharing, here's the link: https://t.co/yQDopYtQhy pic.twitter.com/QNMWErLOU9
– Zack Whittaker ( @zackwhittaker) December 14, 2018
Users sometimes allow apps permission to access images they share on their timeline. But this error meant that for 12 days developers could also access other photos shared on Facebook, and even photos people uploaded, but decided not to enter.
The error in the question was live between September 13 and September 25, 2018. Facebook detected and corrected the mistake on 25. However, it has taken almost three months for Facebook to alert the developers affected and, in extension, affected the users.
Facebook is "sorry for this happen" and rolling out tools to help developers "decide which people who use their app could be affected by this error." These people will then be notified and referred to a link to the Help Center as explains the problem in more detail.
Fingers Crossed for 2019
These peaks are another horribilis for Facebook, and we really hope 2019 gives better fortune. Not for Facebook's sake, but for the sake of the user. Otherwise, Facebook can all find that everyone collectively decides to quit social media altogether.
Image Credit: Marco Verch / Flickr
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