Zuckerberg photos exposed by Facebook privacy flaw

Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has had his private photos exposed thanks to a flaw in the way the social network handles the reporting of indecent images.

The bug in the system has been around for a couple of weeks now and allowed any user with a little know how to view the private image folders of anyone - including it seems, the founder of Facebook himself.

Initially published on a body building forum, the glitch - which has now been fixed - occurred as part of a reporting procedure. Upon flagging an image as indecent, users were given the chance to report more photos by the same person. The Telegraph reports that at this point they were shown a thumbnail gallery of all the user's images, including private ones. From there a simple tweaking of the address bar would allow for the pictures to be shown full size.

This presented a huge security flaw, as the leaking of private photos of Facebook founder Zuckerburg has shown. The images include pictures with his girlfriend and one of him meeting President Obama. Despite taking almost two weeks to fix the bug, a Facebook spokesperson has announced that the company jumped on it immediately.

"The bug, was a result of one of our most recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time. Not all content was accessible, rather a small number of one's photos," he said. "Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed."

He ended with a statement that seems hard to believe: "The privacy of our user's data is a top priority for us, and we invest lots of resources in protecting our site and the people who use it."

Taking a different spin on things and congratulating people for their diligence in spotting Facebook bugs, Mr Zuckerberg claimed in a blog post that “it's important for people to think about this."

This could be simply a method of negating some of the public backlash surrounding this incident, or Zuckerberg could be turning a corner with his own opinions on privacy now that it's affected him directly. Back in 2010, he was quoted as saying "privacy was no longer a social norm."

The social network was recently slapped down by the European Commission for its practices in selling user data, with a new clamp down enforced on how the company can gather information. The EC will also be introducing a new directive in January that prevents Facebook from using targeted advertising unless the user agrees to it.