If you’re a Flickr user, you may want to dig through that bulk inbox for an important heads-up from the photo sharing site. Reports have emerged that between Jan. 18 and Feb. 7, a portion of Flickr users’ private photos were made public due to a software bug discovered during routine maintenance. While the photos wouldn’t have shown up in a search, they were visible on affected users’ photo streams during that time. 

Scope Of The Breach Remains Unclear

Rather than reporting this on its company-wide blog, Flickr opted to selectively notify individuals affected by the mishap. The company has only admitted that the issue impacted a “small percentage of photos,” so the scope of the privacy breach remains unclear for the time being. For compromised accounts, the bug only exposed photos uploaded between April and December 2012.

To mitigate further damage, Flickr locked down affected users’ photos with additional privacy settings, requiring some users to manually re-adjust the privacy settings on their entire Flickr photo collections – no small task for a longtime user.

Between a slick new iPhone app and a lot of Instagram malaise, Flickr got a major shot in the arm late last year. We don’t yet know how many users were affected, but it’s certainly triggered a wave of negative sentiment for the Yahoo-owned photo site.

If you had any relatively naughty Flickr activity last year, now’s the time to go through your privacy settings with a fine-toothed comb.