Norman Sadeh, co-director of Carnegie Mellon University's Privacy Engineering Program, said that although Facebook survived temporary losses of trust from the public in the past, the recent scandals appeared to be taking their toll on the social media company.
The bug affected posts shared between May 18 and May 27, though Facebook started rolling out a fix on May 22.
"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts". Facebook is now notifying 14 million people around the world who were potentially impacted by the bug to review their status updates and lock them down tighter if need be. 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 admitted that the posts of over 14 million users who thought they were sharing privately with their friends may have actually been shared publicly because of a software bug during the month of May 2018. In the meantime, Facebook has set any public posts from that period to users' previous default settings, meaning that even users who meant to make posts public will need to reset them to be globally accessible. If users did not notice the new default suggestion, they unwittingly sent their post to a broader audience than they had intended. But while the bug was active, from 18 May to 27 May, the setting was automatically changed to public.
Facebook hasn't released specifics on the amount of users and posts involved other than it being up to 14 million.
Facebook reassured users the problem has now been fixed.
For example, the site made it easier for users to download all the data Facebook has on them, as well as gave them greater control over what sites the company is able to share their personal information with, such as advertisers and research firms.