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Facebook gave 60 device makers "deep access" to user data

06 June 2018

Facebook has shared data with such companies for years, letting device makers use features such as "like" buttons and address books in their gadget's software.

"It's worrying that so many companies had access to this data, particularly in light of security and privacy concerns", said Michael Veale, a technology policy expert at University College London. In April, Facebook started ending the agreements though a lot of them still remain in effect. And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.

The Times report said: "Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users' friends who believed they had barred any sharing". "To bridge this gap, we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems".

Facebook is under fire once again for mishandling user data, this time charged with sharing information with at least 60 device makers, including Amazon, Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Microsoft and Samsung.

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. "As always we're working closely with our partners to provide alternative ways for people to still use Facebook", concluded Facebook's vice president of product partnerships.

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The Facebook road sign at the company's main campus decorate for Gay Pride Week 2015. Microsoft said that its partnership let users "add contacts and friends and receive notifications". Amazon and Samsung refused to comment.

As evidenced from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that kind of shady behaviour has resulted in quite the privacy nightmare, but according to a new report, phone and tablet manufacturers apparently had access to that data too.

This sharing of user data continued even after Facebook declared that it would stop sharing such data with outsiders, according to the New York Times.

"This company from what I've seen has disregarded a consent decree and behaved in a way that is inimical to consumers' interest", Vladeck said. At no time did BlackBerry collect or mine the Facebook data of our customers. It wouldn't have worked any other way.

Facebook said Monday that it does not know of any privacy abuse by cellphone makers who years ago were able to gain access to personal data on users and their friends.

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Facebook on a Nokia C3, also from 2010. Apple's App Store launched in 2008, as did Google's app store, then called Android Market. Before that, Apple dictated what was on iPhones.

In a blog post, Facebook confirmed some parts of the Times' report but disputed others.

Late last month, he testified before European Union lawmakers and apologized for the way Facebook has been used to produce fake news, interfere in elections and gather people's personal information.

The Times reported some device makers had access to user data such as relationship status, religion, political leaning, and events. The implication is that the Times couldn't get the rogue API to work on any more recent device, whether a smartphone or a feature phone.

Although Facebook reportedly began to end these partnerships this past April, a lot of them are still alive to this very day.

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Information of 294,258 friends of friends was also identified using the Hub app.

Facebook gave 60 device makers