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05 June 2018, 12:03 | Antoinette Holland
Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) said the new reports showed that Facebook "has failed to come clean with the American people about the extent, the scope and the scale, of data sharing". More significantly, the agreements provided access to friend's data, raising compliance issues with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission.
To test how much access was granted to a device, the Times says that when it recently had a reporter log into his Facebook account on a Blackberry from 2013 (when the company still used its proprietary operating system), the device retrieved personal information about the reporter's 500 friends. The newspaper found that those partners can "obtain data about a user's Facebook friends, even those who have denied Facebook permission to share information with any third parties". A week earlier it emerged that data firm Cambridge Analytica may have gotten access to the data of up to 87 million users, and most of Facebook's 2 billion users may have had their personal data skimmed by "malicious actors".
Written by Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships, the post says that these data agreements were a matter of necessity.
Facebook's reasoning for the situation is that it does not see these manufacturers as third parties. "But the problem is that as more and more data is collected on the device-and if it can be accessed by apps on the device-it creates serious privacy and security risks", Serge Egelman, a privacy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the security of mobile apps, toldNYT.
Under scrutiny this time is the company's practice of sharing information about its users with dozens of smartphone and tablet makers.
A response that is really par for the course for BlackBerry and as noted, the data was not used in the same manner as Cambridge Analytica. And friends' information was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends, he said. A BlackBerry (bb) spokesperson told the paper that the Canadian firm "did not collect or mine the Facebook data of [its] customers".
Apple said it has stopped using the APIs and that it used them to allow users to post pictures and other information without having to open the Facebook app.
"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", Facebook wrote.
While Facebook says these agreements were important and that it had tight control over these partnerships from the get-go, even company employees weren't happy allowing outside companies to access their users' data.
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They said its partnerships were governed by contracts that strictly limited use of the data, including any stored on partners' servers, adding that they knew of no cases where the information had been misused. Facebook's rebuttal begins by saying it has mostly agreed with prior concerns the Times has raised "about the controls over Facebook information shared with" outside companies such as Cambridge Analytica. We've already ended 22 of these partnerships.
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