Instagram photos on private accounts have been made public by Instagram security bug
A huge number of Instagram photos that their owners thought were private were in fact being shown publicly to the world until a bug was fixed this week.
If an Instagram user posted a photo with their account being public, and then set their account to private the photo would remain public, reported Quartz.
Instagram have since acknowledged the bug since it has been reported and provided a fix. Instagram does not appear to have any support documentation telling users how to navigate the complex status of photos on Instagram, and how to be sure a photo is public or private.
Before the bug was fixed, users could see that photos were public through the Instagram website, using the Instagram photo URL.
Usually, accessing a private Instagram photo would bring up a message stating the page could not be found, just like when a photo is deleted.
The photo links also get shared on Facebook and Twitter if they are linked to a users Instagram profile. That meant anybody following the user on another social media site, except Instagram would be able to view the private images.