Facebook denies privacy bug that makes private messages public

  • Internet  awash with rumours of massive privacy bug
  • Facebook  claims messages are simply older, public messages users had forgotten  about

 

PUBLISHED:13:33 EST, 24  September 2012| UPDATED:13:48 EST, 24 September 2012

 

Facebook has denied a bug on its site is  causing private messages to be displayed on people’s walls.

Online users have claimed private messages  written in 2009 and earlier were today showing up on viewable timelines as  messages ‘posted by friends’.

The reports were mainly in the US and France,  and only appeared to affect some users.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the centre of a major privacy row today as internet users claimed that private messages were being displayed as public. However, the site said the issue was simply a mistake by users.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the centre of a  major privacy row today as internet users claimed that private messages were  being displayed as public. However, the site said the issue was simply a mistake  by users.

Facebook acknowledged the problem had been  raised by users, but denied there was a problem, saying it has ‘extensively  investigated’ them.

‘A small number of users raised concerns  after what they believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline.

‘Our engineers investigated these reports and  found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on  the users’ profile pages.

‘Facebook is satisfied that there has been no  breach of user privacy.’

The concerns come as Facebook is looking to  tackle Google by making search a much more prominent part of its social  network.

Mark Zuckerberg said: ‘Facebook is pretty  uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have’ – and plans to build  more powerful search facilities as Facebook evolves.

The social network is already tweaking its  search capabilities – with any search a user makes in the top bar now stored and  displayed by Facebook.

Facebook said it will now log all searches  made in Facebook, which users can then see by clicking on the Activity Log  button.

The company stressed that any searches you  make will not be visible to other users.

However the move may spark privacy concerns  about what data the website giant keeps on users, and how they will use that  data in order to prove search functionality.

In a statement, the company said: ‘In  addition to your other activity, you’ll be able to see the searches you’re  making on Facebook.

‘Just as you can choose to delete any of your  posts, you can use the same inline control on Activity Log to remove any of your  searches at any time.’

Facebook added: ‘It’s important to remember  that no one else can see your Activity Log, including your search  activity.

‘You can expect to see your Activity Log  updated with your search activity over the next few weeks.

‘You can access this tool by going to the top  of your profile, and going to Search from the activity sorter.’

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