Facebook in another Data Sharing Scandal involving Device Makers

Facebook in another Data Sharing Scandal involving Device Makers

Here, a man reads security parameters on his phone in front of a Facebook logo in Bordeaux, southwestern France.

Facebook had data-sharing agreements with at least 60 device markers, many of which are still in effect, according to a report in The New York Times. The latest revelation is that Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Blackberry were just a handful of more than 60 device makers given "deep access" to user data ...

Facebook disputed that finding, saying that "friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends".

"Given that these APIs enabled other companies to recreate the Facebook experience, we controlled them tightly from the get-go", it states.

Microsoft said Facebook data gotten by its users remained on their devices and was not uploaded to their servers, while Samsung and Amazon failed to respond to the Times' question.

US Congressman David Cicilline, who has introduced a bill meant to curb Facebook and Google's influence in the news industry, said the Times report raises questions about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's testimony before Congress earlier this year.

Guy Verhofstadt, chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, tweeted that Zuckerberg "was not totally honest" in claiming users control how their data is shared and who sees it.

The New York Times reported that Facebook also gave device makers "access to the data of users' friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders". The data transfer was based on a connection the phone's software was allowed to make, directly to Facebook's information. The company apparently gave access to "vast amounts of its users' personal information" to device makers.

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He spoke to reporters with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping . The purchases are partly aimed at shrinking the $375bn United States goods trade deficit with China.

Many online companies use APIs - including NPR, which relies on them to distribute online stories to member stations.

If you're using both Facebook and, say, an Apple product, you probably have some inherent trust in both companies - moreso than I daresay most had in the developer of a Facebook quiz. "And we approved the Facebook experiences they built", said Facebook's product partnerships chief, Ime Archibong, in a blog post.

In interviews to NYT, Facebook defended its data-sharing agreement and asserted that these are consistent with its privacy policies, the FTC agreement and pledges to users. But it exempts "service provider [s]" who help Facebook carry out basic functions of its site.

Facebook confirmed the agreements, but said they were used for creating "Facebook-like experiences" before app stores were the norm.

However, Facebook argues that these partnerships are different because the contracts governing the partnerships strictly limited the use of the data, and that Facebook knew of no incidents where the data was misused. "We shouldn't have taken their word for it".

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's app cleanup may end up being more hard than we think.

The FTC declined to comment.