Facebook Allows Manufacturers Like Samsung, BlackBerry, And Apple Access To User Data

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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 New York Times yesterday revealed the partnerships, shedding new light on the social media giant's behaviour related to customer data in the wake of a scandal involving the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Instead saying that they are more like service providers; with the service being that user data is being stored on their servers.

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

In a test, a New York Times reporter logged onto Facebook using a 2013 Blackberry device, using an account with roughly 550 friends, monitoring the data requested and received. "Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users' friends who believed they had barred any sharing, The New York Times found".

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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 is already under intense scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators, including the FTC, because of the Cambridge Analytica revelation, which raised serious concerns about the public APIs used by third-party developers and the company's data-sharing policies.

"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission".

The Times found that the partnerships allowed outside companies to access personal user data like relationship status, religious and political affiliations, work history and birthdays, as well as the information of users' Facebook friends, even if the friends had blocked Facebook from sharing their information with third parties.

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Zuckerberg was adamant before Congress that Facebook is seriously committed to users' privacy.

Apple said that it had previously used the software interfaces to allow iPhone users to do things like post photos to Facebook without opening the app, but that its device access was terminated in September.

'This was flagged internally as a privacy issue, ' in 2012 said Parakilas, who left Facebook that year and is now a harsh critic of the company. "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 confirmed the use of the data sharing agreements with around 60 companies - including Amazon, Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Microsoft, and Samsung - which were used to allow users to access Facebook back before there were app stores and standard operating systems. Apple has long touted privacy as one of the draws of being in the Apple ecosystem, and Cook underscored this again, claiming that Apple "could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers" but that the company has elected not to do it.

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