tiptrot.com
tiptrot.com June 24, 2018


Facebook has reportedly been sharing user data with phone makers for ages

04 June 2018, 11:59 | Deanna Wagner

An older BlackBerry device, meanwhile, appeared to access many categories of data, including messages, while tapping data about friends and others one step removed on the network, the Times found.

And it has said the circumstances were "very different" from those involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which user data was used for different purposes. The company also failed to identify alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

Who still has access and why?

The newspaper said the information collected by the software included the IDs, birthday dates, work details and educational histories of numerous journalists' friends, as well as identifying information about many more friends-of-friends.

Facebook says it made deals with around 60 companies, from Apple, Amazon and Blackberry to HTC, Microsoft and Samsung, to "recreate Facebook-like experiences" on their devices.

Facebook has responded with a blog headlined "Why we disagree with the New York Times". In response, Facebook said the article's central allegation that the partnerships allowed unauthorized access to users' friends data is wrong.

What does that software do with the data?

"Consumers have the right to know how their personal information is being used, and the companies we trust with our information have a critical responsibility to protect it", Underwood said in a statement. Usually collected when users log into their accounts through the Facebook app.


Apple (aapl) said it stopped giving iPhones this sort of access to Facebook last September.

Private application programming interfaces (APIs) built for device-makers spread "user data through tens of millions of mobile devices, game consoles, televisions and other systems outside Facebook's direct control", according to the NYT.

But the report raised concerns that massive databases on users and their friends - including personal data and photographs - could be in the hands of device makers as it did with Cambridge Analytica. In April, multiple committees on Capitol Hill had peppered him with questions about Facebook's dealings with Cambridge Analytica. Now this new scandal could add fuel to the fire, as the data being shared with device manufacturers includes information that people set to private.

The company said that since iOS and Android are so popular now, not many need these APIs to offer their own custom Facebook experiences. It doesn't think it's violated the FTC deal, but former FTC official Jessica Rich told the Times that "under Facebook's interpretation, the exception swallows the rule". "Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have "complete control" over who sees our data on Facebook", he tweeted.

"This was flagged internally as a privacy issue", Sandy Parakilas, who was leading third-party advertising and privacy compliance for Facebook's platform at the time, said.

According to The Times most of these partnerships are still in effect, though some began to be wound down in April.

Barbara Underwood, the new attorney general in NY, said in a statement Monday that her office continues to investigate Facebook's data use after Cambridge Analytica, which includes looking "into these "data-sharing" partnerships".



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