Following weeks of controversy surrounding the harvesting of user data, it has been learned that Facebook has been internally saving private videos that its users had deleted.
New York Magazine brought the issue to light after several users downloaded a ZIP file of all the data Facebook has collected on them. The users discovered that videos they had recorded but never posted were stored by the social media giant.
“Facebook had a feature that let users film videos via webcam on Facebook itself — that is, without ever leaving the Facebook site to use a video recorder. Once you were done filming, Facebook would show you a preview of your clip,” NY Mag explained. “If you decided to do another take, you could click to discard that video and try it again. Except, the video wasn’t actually deleted. Instead, Facebook apparently saved your unused clip.”
NY Mag highlighted a specific example of Facebook storing videos that users thought were permanently deleted.
One user, identified as Bailey, found several old videos of herself attempting to play a song on the flute.
“Each video, she discovered, was a different ‘take’ — recorded on Facebook, but then, she assumed, discarded before she posted the final version to a friend’s wall,” NY Mag explained.
“In one of the clips, you can hear Kircher say, exasperatedly, that it is her 13th take. At the end of the clip, which isn’t to her liking, she groans and reaches forward, apparently to delete the video and try again.”
See the video below:
Facebook blamed the issue on a bug and promised to remove the content from its servers.
“We investigated a report that some people were seeing their old draft videos when they accessed their information from our Download Your Information tool,” a Facebook spokesperson told NY Mag.
“We discovered a bug that prevented draft videos from being deleted. We are deleting them and apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate New York Magazine for bringing the issue to our attention.”
Although Facebook promised that the videos were never shared with the public, it’s unclear if they were used from any other purpose.
This issue follows the revelation that Facebook had given the data of over 50 millions Facebook users to the political data firm Cambridge Analytica.
According to the Daily Mail, Facebook has lost over $70 billion in market value since then.
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