The Facebook “bug” that supposedly exposed users’ personal information was a human–not a computer failure, a French privacy group has concluded.
About 10 days ago, a French newspaper reported that a user had seen what were supposed to be private messages from 2009 showing up on his timeline. Once the news was published, other Facebook users complained of the same thing, putting the social media company on the defensive. But on Oct. 3, the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) ruled that there hadn’t been a privacy breach. In fact, some users simply didn’t realize that they were sending public messages, according to this CSO Online article.
CNIL says the likely reason behind the confusion was the evolution of Facebook over the years. Before 2009, “wall to wall” public messaging was less visible than it is today, giving users the illusion of privacy. But when Facebook’s timeline feature came along, past messages were displayed more prominently, giving them the illusion that a privacy breach had occurred, CNIL said.