Facebook permitted the device companies access to the data of users' friends without their explicit approval, even after announced that it would no longer contribute to share such information with outsiders. But it says there's nothing scandalous about them.
Facebook has issued a response to the article with a post titled "Why we disagree with the New York Times". This would be a direct violation of the 2011 agreement it made with the federal government if true. 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.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for the fact that Facebook didn't consider how its service could be misused by malicious actors until it was too late. But the Times report suggests major device makers were not restricted by the same policy.
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It said it forged partnerships with around 60 companies back when mobile phones were less powerful and app stores did not yet exist. The New York Times said the vast amounts of information shared with Apple and other phone-makers included data on users' friends that had supposedly barred access. "And if we find that someone improperly used data, we're going to ban them from Facebook and tell everyone affected", he added. Cambridge Analytica has since been dissolved.
"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".
"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission".
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Microsoft said its API access ended in 2008, adding that the bridge was used to do things like add contacts and receive notifications, and that all data was stored locally on the user's device. If you're using both Facebook and, say, an Apple product, you probably have some inherent trust in both companies - moreso than I daresay most had in the developer of a Facebook quiz.
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". He denied that users' information was shared without their consent.
Michelle De Mooy, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Privacy and Data Project, told Threatpost that the incident once again undermines trust in the data ecosystem and highlights the misalignment between Facebook's understanding of reasonable data-sharing and its users' understanding. The report goes on to claim that numerous partnerships formed are still in effect, although following the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook reportedly started winding them down in April.
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It said it "has repeatedly warned civilians against approaching the fence and taking part in violent incidents and terrorist attacks".
It also quoted an ex-FTC official as saying the APIs breached privacy commitments Facebook made to users in 2014.