Few Flickr users may have noticed it but now it has been confirmed that privacy of the Flickr users may have been compromised for more than 20 days. This was conveyed to the Flickr users by Flickr through email.
Users were notified directly by Flickr in an email rather than publicly via blog post. The email said that private photos uploaded between April and December 2012 had accidentally been made public for a 20-day period spanning 18 January through 7 February 2013. It also stated:
"While performing routine site maintenance, we identified a software bug that may have changed the view setting on some of your photos from non-public (ie, private or viewable only by family and friends) to public."
The email sent to the users is as follows :
Though the images may not have been visible in the search, but it is possible that anyone browsing the photostreams may have seen the photo's not meant for them or anybody public.
The forums are glutted with the privacy breach reports. This is a serious issue for which the company should be penalized said many readers. However to check if your privacy has been breached please visit here at the Flickr help page. If you get a message saying this than your photos are safe.
I hope that the issues like these are dealt severely by the companies concerned, though Yahoo has clarified that the impacted users were very small, but it still doenn't bode well for users because when we share photos over Flickr, WhatsApp or other image sharing clients, we assume that the photos are not viewed by anybody else than the receiver.
Please post your comments on this issue.