Facebook bug exposed millions of users' photos

Friday, December 14, 2018

Facebook has discovered a bug which may have affected up to 6.8 million people and given third-party apps wider access to user photos on the social network.

The social media firm said the bug was found in software that used Facebook login to give third-party apps on the platform permission to access a user's photos, and was active for 12 days between September 13 and 25.

The bug meant access was granted to a broader set of user images than intended, Facebook said, including images uploaded to the site but never posted.

"When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline," the social media site's, Tomer Bar, said.

"In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories."

"The bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post. 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 so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post."

 

Facebook to 'notify people potentially impacted'

Facebook said it believes the bug affected up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers.

"We're sorry this happened. Early next week we will be rolling out tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug," Mr Bar said.

"We will be working with those developers to delete the photos from impacted users.

"We will also notify the people potentially impacted by this bug via an alert on Facebook. The notification will direct them to a Help Center link where they'll be able to see if they've used any apps that were affected by the bug."

The social network recommended that users log into any apps, which they have previously given access to their photos, to check which images the app has access to.

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