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Facebook shares fall as tech firm shares details of privacy bug which hit 14M users

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Facebook shares ended the US Thursday session in the red as the social media business shared news that a privacy bug has affected 14 million users. The problem meant that even when a user wanted to share something privately, it was shared publicly.

The problem has now been rectified, but Mark Zuckerberg’s business is in the process of contacting every user whose posts were shared in a different way from the one they selected.

Facebook shares closed 1.65% lower at $188.18. The stock is also in the red in after-hours activity.

Facebook updates all users on error

While the company is contacting each individual user who has been affected by the sharing selection problem, the global social media giant also shared a general update on exactly what happened.

It said that when it was building a new way for users to share public content on their feed, the share selector was automatically set to public. That meant the post users chose to share was shared publicly, regardless of the option they chose when going through the process.

“We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts,” said Facebook’s chief privacy office, Erin Egan. “Today we started letting the 14 million people affected know – and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.”

“The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they’d been using before,” Egan said.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that we need to be more transparent about how we build our products and how those products use your data – including when things go wrong. And that is what we are doing here,” Egan added.

Cambridge Analytica’s Nix refuses to answer some MP questions

Earlier this week, the former head of scandal hit Cambridge Analytica faced the UK Parliament to answer questions over the Facebook data abuse case.

Alexander Nix refused to answer some questions, saying he was unable to as the ICO’s inquiry was still ongoing.

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