Facebook announces a major bug in their system that may have exposed about 7 million user’s private photos to App Developers. The Company plans to notify people about this. The number of people who use Facebook goes more than 2 billion people. The vast majority of which would care less and would not even come to know if something happens on Facebook. Facebook has problems going forward, their growth of new users is slowed, share of social media users have gone down from18% to 14% in last 2 years. And even more critically their advertising revenue is slow. The damage of 6.8 million people having photos that they didn’t intend to share with Facebook are shared. Some people are pointing to the block chain technology for a possible technological solution to this. There were suggestions that the block chain technology will provide a buffer between the users and the hackers. But if Facebook were built on block chain technology that could have helped but it is not the case. Facebook is rather built on internet and hence the block chain technology won’t work.
The social network giant says using Facebook login and granting permission to third party apps to access photos led to the unintended lapse between September 13 and 25. Engineering director Tomer Bar says the bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post. There are situations where someone uploads a photo but doesn’t finish posting it. Facebook stores a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to complete their post. Bar says affected users will be notified and directed to a help center.
Response From the Social Media Giant
Facebook on Friday said a bug in its software is likely to cause the leakage of 6.8 million private photos. It allows third party access to photos that are not openly shared via apps. Facebook is apologizing after admitting a software bug may have exposed nearly 7 million users’ private photos without their permission. Today Facebook says that the bug is now fixed. Apparently allowed third party app developers access to photos people may not have shared publically. Those photos were exposed over a 12 day period in September. The exposure occurred between September 12 and 25. Facebook said it will notify people that were potentially impacted.
When asked why Facebook waited to inform the public of the issue, a Facebook spokesperson told CNN that they have been investigating the issue since it was discovered to try and understand its impact so that they could ensure they were contacting the right developers and people affected by the bug. It then took them some time to build a meaningful way to notify people and get translations done. The information Facebook gives to the third-party developers continues to be under scrutiny. Earlier this year they even hired a scientist working for Cambridge analytic who revealed the company had several years ago used the system to gather data on tens of millions of Americans.
Every time Facebook has to deal with one of these upsets, they have to spend more and more money to safeguard privacy and from the perspective of the shareholder, that means it’s going to take that the bottom line of the stock going to keep taking a hit. Facebook’s stock price fell 2.5% following the news. This is Facebook’s third large data leakage this year.