Social Media giant Facebook latest screw-up states a programming bug in Facebook inadvertently gave as many as 1500 third party apps access to the unposted Facebook photos of millions of users. Consequently, Facebook recently revealed that it showed a new API bug in its photo sharing system that enabled about 800 developers access user’s private photos which they never shared on their timeline. This also included images that were uploaded to Facebook stories or Marketplace.
Facebook stated that when users give permission to apps to access their photos on facebook, then they give the app access to only those photos which people share on their timeline. But in this case, the bug gave developers access to various other photos like those shared on Facebook stories or on Marketplace. Even worse, the bug potentially exposed those photos also which people uploaded to Facebook but opted not to post or didn’t end posting owing to some reason.
The mistake left users private data exposed for approximately 12 days until Facebook got alarm and fixed security flaw later. According to Facebook, it is estimated that this bug might have affected up to 6.8 million users and approximately 1500 apps built by around 876 developers. Apps that were affected by this bug were the ones which facebook approved to access and that individuals had allowed to access their photos.
Facebook notified impacted users of the blunder by releasing an alert on their timeline that photos of users may have been exposed. This alert directed them to facebook Help Center page with more information. Facebook also told that the social media network would soon roll out tools for app developers that would enable them determine which people would get affected by the bug.
Facebook also ensured users that the company would be working with developers to abolish copies of photos that they were not supposed to access. It can be said that 2018 had been a terrible year for Facebook as it found dealing with a slew of incidents this year. The most crucial was the Cambridge Analytic scandal that uncovered personal data of 87 million Facebook users. The social media giant also got caught in its worst-ever security breach in September this year that unveiled highly sensitive data of 14 million users. Also, In September, Facebook addressed same API bug which was exploited by some unidentified hackers to steal secret access tokens and gather personal information for 30 million Facebook users.
It is reported that Facebook also suffered another security issue in June that affected 14 million users wherein people’s posts that were meant to be private became public.
The Bottom Line
Aforementioned security breaching incidents came out owing to the failure of Facebook in keeping the personal information of its 2.2 billion users protected while earning billions of dollars revenue from the same information.