Facebook fixes bug that gave access to private photos

Social networking giant Facebook has fixed a bug in its photo sharing system. The bug allowed users to view pictures that other users, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, had made private.

The bug was first spotted noted on a body-building forum and involved Facebook’s system of reporting inappropriate content.

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When a user reported a member’s profile picture as inappropriate, they were asked if they had other photographs to report. This then gave them access to other private photos.

“We discovered a bug in one of our reporting flows that allows people to report multiple instances of inappropriate content simultaneously,” Facebook said in a statement.

“The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user’s most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos,” it said.

“This was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time,” Facebook said.

“Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed,” it said.

One unidentified user managed to use the bug to post 14 pictures of Zuckerberg on the image sharing site imgur.

“It’s time to fix those security flaws Facebook…” the user said in comment.

Concerns around privacy and security on the social network recently saw it ordered to submit to external audits from the US Securities and Exchange Commission for 20 years.

Facebook nonetheless maintained that “the privacy of our user’s data is a top priority for us, and we invest significant resources in protecting our site and the people who use it.”

Zuckerberg has, however, previously stated that “public is the new social norm”, suggesting that Facebook’s 800-million users would happy to share their online lives with the world at large.

The world’s largest social network recently began the full rollout of its Timeline feature. Although the changes made to Facebook’s privacy settings in rolling out Timeline weren’t all that great, the new feature does make people’s Facebook data a lot more visible.

This is evident in some of the features already rolled out in an earlier round of updates, including the news ticker.

When integrated fully with the OpenGraph apps on Facebook, the feature allows people to see every single like, comment or addition from their friends — what games they’re playing, what music they’re listening to; and what apps they use.

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