Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others given ‘deep access’ to Facebook user data

We are aware of the controversy that Facebook has been sharing its data third-party companies. In a recent revelation, it has been found that over 60 companies that include Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung were given ‘deep access’ to the users’ data.

In a New York Times report, it has been mentioned that Facebook gave them access to data from users’ friends even after the social network assured the Federal Trade Commission that it was no longer sharing such data.

“Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing, The New York Times found.”

In response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook mentioned that it has ceased the access to the third-party companies. It seems this doesn’t apply to device manufacturers. The Company officials did not disclose that Facebook had exempted the makers of cellphones, tablets and other hardware from such restrictions.

With  ‘Why We Disagree with The New York Times.’ the company mentions that APIs were provided to allow access to Facebook on a range of devices and that this is a very different situation to Cambridge Analytica.

“Given that these APIs enabled other companies to recreate the Facebook experience, we controlled them tightly from the get-go. These partners signed agreements that prevented people’s Facebook information from being used for any other purpose than to recreate Facebook-like experiences. Partners could not integrate the user’s Facebook features with their devices without the user’s permission. And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built. Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies.”

The company says that with iOS and Android now so dominant, it has now ended access by 22 device makers, and started limiting the power of them in April.

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