Flickr accidentally made some private photos public for 20 days
Photo hosting Flickr accidentally made an unknown number of private photos publicly available for the period from January 18 to February 7, writes The Verge. Photos were not shown on the Flickr search engine, but they were visible to those who viewed the photo streams of affected photographers.
“Only a small number of Flickr users were affected, and now we are directly contacting them,” wrote Flickr vice president Barry Wayne on the service forum. “The problem did not concern all users and is no longer relevant - a software error has been identified and fixed.”
The problem could affect a small percentage of users, but this is a blow to the authority of Flickr, given that the company assures users that “your photos are safe with us” and “user privacy is very important to us." Among others, some erotic pictures of users were made public. One user wrote on the forum: "I had some naughty photos, and they were intended only for friends."
According to photographer Thomas Hawke, “a rather significant, but very carefully hidden, huge amateur porn community has formed in Flickr - you just have to search for“ milf ”by disabling safe search.” It was these users who were most affected by the Flickr error.
Other users who spotted a mistake last week say they tried to make their photos that suddenly became public again private, but the settings went back to public. One of the owners of paid accounts says that he is thinking of completely deleting his account, because he’s not sure that his photos will not become public again.
Flickr eventually made “all potentially affected photos” private, but this caused additional problems for users who found that the photos they intentionally took open became private. According to them, now they have to comb through hundreds of photos and manually make the necessary photos public. In addition, closing the photos broke the code of the pages on other sites where they were used.
“My food blog was completely destroyed, and it was a huge source of income for me,” one of the paid account owners writes on the forum, “Now I have to not only change all privacy settings - changing privacy has changed the code, which means that I I must re-insert all my photos in absolutely every post. These are hundreds of photographs. ”
A Yahoo spokeswoman said the problem was "very, very small," and the company contacted users directly to resolve their issues. “We deeply regret that this happened,” she added, noting that a mistake was made during the “scheduled maintenance.”