Some Flickr users have been receiving emails regarding a privacy-setting bug affecting their photos. Whether you’ve received this email or not, this bug may affect you if you have any photos on Flickr. According to the email, a site-wide bug was discovered that caused private photos to be switched to public. The bug was limited to photos uploaded between April and December of 2012.
Once the bug was discovered, Flickr decided to take an extra precaution and set every photo that may have been impacted to private. This means that thousands of photos that were originally set to public are now marked as private in an attempt to remedy the situation. If your private photos have been set to public by this bug, they were visible on Flickr “only between January 18th and February 7th”, so at least they were not publicly visible for very long.
According to Flickr, “When a photo is set to ‘private,’ links and embeds on other websites will no longer work. This means you may have photos you intended to share with others that you may need to adjust the settings on.” Not only that, but according to several forum threads, photos that were switched to private by Flickr may have lost all their favorites as well.
It seems that the topic was hot on Flickr’s forums before the email came out, with people noticing their public photos are suddenly private – the remedy to the bug rather than the bug itself. For some, having all their photos switched to private means having to go through hundreds or even thousands of photos, switched their status back to public.
Were you affected by this bug? How does your photos going private affect you?