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.

Ime Archibong, a Facebook vice president, says that the partnerships with device makers are there just to help them provide users of their products with "versions of the Facebook experience".

Facebook views these partnerships as "extensions of Facebook" and says "they knew of no cases where the information had been misused".

The newspaper reported the social network had given at least 60 device-makers access to users' friends' data without obtaining explicit consent.

"We are not aware of any abuse by these companies", he added, noting that Facebook has been "winding down access" to the software. The problem lies in the level of access granted to these private APIs, which raises concerns over the amount of data shared with these third-parties.

Facebook's already spotty data sharing policy is apparently more problematic than observers had believed.

KitGuru Says: This isn't Facebook's first run-in with privacy concerns and it sure isn't likely to be its last.

Facebook on Sunday said an arrangement that gave some 60 mobile device makers access to data about device users' Facebook friends is not at all like the deal it made with app developers that gave rise to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Using a five-year old BlackBerry device, he said he was able to turn his list of 550 friends into a global identifier list of connected friends numbering 295,000.

This massive sharing of information between certain companies may have started way back in 2008, before there was even a distinct Facebook app to speak of. Usually collected when users log into their accounts through the Facebook app.

"Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends".

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

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April to answer questions about data the company provided to third parties about their users.

A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration taken June 3, 2018.

The Cambridge Analytica controversy, which first came to light in March, led to vast scrutiny for Facebook, numerous changes to its privacy practices, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The APIs now in question, according to Archibong, are very different from those used by Cambridge Analytica.

But the New York Times report claims that Facebook's partners were able to retrieve user data on relationship status, religion, political leanings and upcoming events, and were also able to get data about their users' Facebook friends, even if they did not have permission.

The report comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, sparking calls from lawmakers across the world to investigate the company's practices related to its users' privacy. "And if we find that someone improperly used data, we're going to ban them from Facebook and tell everyone affected", he added. "In retrospect, that was clearly a mistake".

At the centre of that consent decree is a requirement that Facebook be more transparent about the data it collects about its users.

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