Facebook ‘sorry’ for the bug that may have exposed the photos of 6.8 M users

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The internal Facebook e-mails show discussions about the use of data access as a medium of exchange to use with certain advertisers.

A Facebook-software error may have exposed the photos of 6.8 million users to a much broader audience than intended, the social network confirmed Friday.

“Our internal team discovered a photo API bug that may have affected people who Facebook Login and authorization of third-party apps to access their photos,” said Facebook’s Tomer Bar, in a blog post. “We have solved the problem, but by this error, some third-party apps may have had access to a wider set of pictures than normal for 12 days between 13 September to 25 September 2018.”

Bar said the bug could have affected up to 1500 apps built by 876 developers.


“We find it unfortunate that this happened,” he added. “Beginning next week we will have the roll-out of tools for app developers that enable them to determine which people use their app may be affected by this bug. We will work with the developers to delete the photos from the affected users.”

News of the embarrassing software error comes just a day after Facebook opened a pop-up kiosk in the center of Manhattan to teach users about privacy.

It is not known yet whether anyone actually saw the photos, but the revelation of the now-issue served as another reminder of the amount of data that Facebook has on are 2.27 billion users, and how often these slip-ups are returning.


Bryan Becker, an application security researcher at WhiteHat Security, said that Facebook should look to the internal procedures for the treatment of code. “If we have Facebook at their word that the exposure only ran for 12 days, I think the best is to assume that this was caused by a bug in a code update (rather than, say, a well-thought-out security policy),” he said in a statement by e-mail to Fox News. “Prevent bugs like this from the making of the production takes an organized effort in the team. Secure code review, automated testing, and auditing are all necessary to help defend against unsafe code pushes.”

The bug is the latest in a series of privacy lapses that keep popping up, despite the fact that Facebook’s repeated commitments to batten the hatches and do better prevent unauthorized access to the images, thoughts and other personal information of its users to share with only friends and family.

Facebook and its leadership are under intense scrutiny at the moment, in the midst of ongoing concern about the tech-giant in the processing of the data of the user.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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