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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A Facebook bug in late September allowed outside apps to access photos they weren't supposed to, including some that users uploaded but hadn't posted. Facebook said on Friday.

Why it matters: Facebook is already facing skeptical users and regulators who believe it doesn't respect user privacy.

Details:

  • "When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline. In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories," the company said in a blog post. "The bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post."
  • Facebook told TechCrunch the bug was discovered and fixed on Sept. 25, had lasted for 12 days, and may have affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers.

Ireland's data protection regulator said it had opened an investigation this week into Facebook's data practices, including this breach. The company's privacy practices are also under investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Our thought bubble: Every tech company experiences bugs, but Facebook's massive user base means any flaw can affect millions. Moreover, the company has once again failed to disclose a privacy issue in a timely manner — a pattern that doesn't strengthen trust.

Editor's note: This story was updated with more details about investigations of Facebook's practices around the world.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.