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Facebook gave 60 device makers "deep access" to user data

By midian182 · 6 replies
Jun 4, 2018
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  1. Facebook might have thought that it could ease up now that the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal was dying down slightly, but a New York Times report has again put the company's policies under a spotlight. It reveals how Facebook reached agreements with 60 device makers including Samsung, Apple, and Blackberry that allowed them access to large amounts of user data without their consent, which could have violated a 2011 FTC consent degree. It also claims that the firms could access the data of users’ friends.

    Facebook has issued a response to the article with a post titled “Why we disagree with the New York Times.” It says the deals were put in place to help device makers offer Facebook on their operating systems in a time before apps and app stores.

    “… we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems,” writes Ime Archibong, Facebook VP of Product Partnerships. “All these partnerships were built on a common interest — the desire for people to be able to use Facebook whatever their device or operating system.”

    The post goes on to say that the partners signed agreements that prevented people’s information from being used for any other purpose than to recreated Facebook-like experiences, which had to be approved by Facebook’s engineering teams. “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. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies,” added Archibong.

    But not everyone agrees with Facebook’s downplaying of the situation. Former employee Sandy Parakilas, who led third-party advertising and privacy compliance, told the Times that device partnership was flagged as a privacy issue in 2012.

    “It is shocking that this practice may still continue six years later, and it appears to contradict Facebook’s testimony to Congress that all friend permissions were disabled,” he said.

    The Times claims some of the user data device makers could access included relationship status, religion, political leaning, and events. It added that most of the partnerships are still in place, though Facebook began winding them down in April—the month after the Cambridge Analytica story broke.

    Responding to the story, Rhode Island Congressman (D) David Cicilline tweeted: “Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have “complete control” over who sees our data on Facebook. This needs to be investigated and the people responsible need to be held accountable.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,526   +1,735

    Anyone who believes anything Face book or old Zucky says deserves to have their privacy invaded.

    There is no way Facebook has stopped sharing that data today, they just are not talking about it
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,249   +3,666

    Zuck needs to spend some time in prison so he can find out the value of privacy and what happens when the state takes it away from you .....
  4. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 656   +633

    Sure, don't put the onus on the billionaire or his corporation to tell the truth, the problem is with the people who hear the statements. Yeah that seems sane.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,823   +2,173

    There's an old saying: "Buyer beware!"
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,795   +1,509

    /* SATIRE */ Hey - - it's a social network designed to be shared
  7. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Maniac Posts: 237   +167

    The problem with Facebook, are the (psychologically) needy people who use it. They have been Zuckered into believing their life is important if they post & incessantly tell others about themselves.

    Zucker has these people duped, feeding their fragile egos... while selling themselves out for Zuckerberg bank account..

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