Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

voice assistants arent ready facebook targeted ads iphone x

With the latest Facebook API bug, up to 6.8 million consumers on the social network had their private photos inappropriately exposed to third-party apps. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps had access to photos for the 12 days between September 13 and September 25.

Users impacted had already authorized and granted special permissions to these apps to access content from their Timeline, but the bug led developers to access photos that were uploaded but never yet posted on the Marketplace or Facebook Stories. Though Facebook isn’t specifically giving names, it says up to 1,500 apps from 876 developers were affected. Facebook also notes it had approved photos API access for these apps, issuing an apology promising more change.

facebook expose 68 million users private photos 48789954 586266551832240 8195718961447305216 n
Mockup of the alert (Image via Facebook)

“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. We will be working with those developers to delete the photos from impacted users,” said Tomer Bar, engineering director at Facebook.

Facebook will be alerting impacted consumers with a notification, which will then direct them to the Help Center where they can see if they’ve used any apps that were impacted by the bug. It also is recommended for consumers to individually log into apps to check and see if they’ve wrongfully obtained any photos permissions. A sample notification and interface of what consumers will end up seeing can be seen to the left.

It is not clear when Facebook first was made aware of this API bug. TechCrunch reports that Facebook discovered and fixed it on September 25, but took its time to investigate so it can warn impacted users. That report also makes it clear that photos shared through Facebook Messenger were not impacted.

This would not the first Facebook-related problem in recent months. Back in November, hackers were attempting to sell 120 million private Facebook messages, though that was related to third-party extensions. Before that, up to 50 million accounts were also compromised due to a flaw in access tokens and the “View As” feature. The social media website also apparently knew about Russia data harvesting on its platform since 2014, according to seized documents.

Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Firefox will disable Flash on its browsers by default in 2019

Mozilla's Firefox browser will continue to do its part in deprecating the Flash plugin this year with new plans revealed to disable it by default in an upcoming Nightly build, followed by a stable release in September.

Apple AirPods may be used to spy on conversations, but please don’t

Apple added Live Listen to the AirPods through the iOS 12 update last September, to help users with minor hearing issues. However, a viral tweet is suggesting that the feature may be used to eavesdrop on the conversations of other people.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?