A Facebook bug has caused uploaded but not posted photos of 6.8 million users to be exposed to more than 1,500 apps connected with the social networking site.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led company recently revealed in a blog post that because of an application program interface error, photos that were uploaded were rendered unprotected from third-party apps without the consent of Facebook users. The site said the problem that happened on Sept. 13 to 25 was brought by an update.
The problem was connected with the permission granted to third-party apps to access photos. The API gave a chance for these apps to have complete access on pictures posted on the site's Marketplace as well as those from the Facebook Stories but not those from the Messenger, the site claimed.
"For example, if someone uploads a photo to Facebook but doesn't finish posting it — maybe because they've lost reception or walked into a meeting — we store a copy of that photo for three days so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post," said Facebook's Tomer Bar, who also aired the site's apology for the mishap.
Finding Out If A Facebook Account Was Affected
To check whether an account had been affected, Facebook dedicated a page where users can log in and see if their pictures had been exposed. It will prompt users to log in, and the results page will immediately tell if their photos were compromised. If yes, it will further give instructions.
Furthermore, it said it will launch tools for developers next week to identify those users affected, and in turn, Facebook will notify these accounts. As for the photos, the site explained it will be doing all the efforts with the developers to delete the affected pictures.
Other Facebook Problems
It is worth noting that it happened three months ago but was only disclosed now. Facebook said this was because they investigated the matter first and tried to see the number of people affected by the problem. A spokesperson revealed that the company had contacted the Irish Data Protection Commission upon understanding that the issue may have been a reportable breach.
Meanwhile, this wasn't the first time Facebook has found itself in hot waters. Cambridge Analytica earlier this year revealed that the social networking site gathered data of tens of millions of people from the United States years back.