Facebook reenables ‘View as Public’ feature following 2018 security issue
Facebook is restoring the option for users to view their profile from the perspective of someone they aren’t friends with, as well as making it easier for users to manage what information does or doesn’t get displayed on the public-facing version of their profiles.
The news was announced in a tweet today after Facebook had disabled the option back in September 2018 due to a major security flaw that allowed an attacker to steal access tokens for over 50 million accounts by exploiting a related feature that would allow you to see what a Facebook profile would look like to a specific user. In order to address the issue, Facebook was forced to make over 90 million users log back into their accounts to ensure that they were secure.
According to Facebook’s updated blog post, “We have completed our security review and are re-enabling the version of the ‘View As’ feature that lets people see what their profile looks like to people they aren’t friends with on Facebook. This version was unaffected by the security incident and was significantly more popular than ‘View as Specific Person.’”
The “View as Specific Person” feature that was responsible for the security flaw isn’t being restored at this time, but Facebook’s statement seems to indicate that the company is confident that the “View as Public” half of the feature isn’t affected by the same flaw.