Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

Numerous partnerships, with companies such as Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung, remain in effect even after Facebook began to quietly unwind them in April, according to a lengthy report in the New York Times.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a CNET request for comment, but told the New York Times that the agreement didn't violate the 2011 consent decree because companies like Apple, Blackberry or Samsung were more like "service providers", similar to cloud services paid to store data. The New York Times says that it discovered that the manufacturers were able to access data from members' friends even if they had specifically banned Facebook from using their data.

The problem in this case is that Facebook has exempted these manufacturers from its new policy of preventing third party access to user data.

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.

The FTC is now investigating Facebook's privacy practices in light of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal.

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Facebook, according to The Times, signed agreements with Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft and Samsung over the last 10 years - providing them access to users' data.

The Times piece uses the example of BlackBerry's Hub app, which aims to consolidate a user's messages from various platforms-from Facebook notifications to Gmail emails-into one interface. They're privy to Facebook users' information but it's nothing like the access that led to the Cambridge Analytica controversy, the social network said.

'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.

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

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". Microsoft (msft) said any data its software got from Facebook stayed on users' devices and was not uploaded to its own servers.

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The data sharing was reportedly an issue as early as 2012.

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

Meanwhile, Facebook said it started winding down the partnerships in April, as they were no longer needed to serve users. "These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other goal than to recreate Facebook-like experiences". "And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built", he continued.

"We're not aware of any people's information being misused by these companies", Archibong said.

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