Facebook Glitch Exposed Private Chats

Facebook Inc. said it has disabled its chat service while it fixes a bug that permitted some users’ instant messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends. The snafu comes amid a flurry of criticism about the social network’s handling of privacy.

The bug was buried in a feature that allows users to see whether certain parts of their profile are hidden or accessible to a particular user. Facebook designed the feature to help enhance privacy by allowing users to see how their profile appears to another user. But some users began reporting Wednesday that while accessing the feature, they were able to see live chats of the person they were viewing their profile as.

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