Facebook disputes report it grants phone makers deep data access

Apple was among the companies that used device-integrated APIs to serve up a version of Facebook on its hardware but the deals are now under scrutiny

Some device makers, according to the Times, could get personal information from those friends even though they were under the impression that they had barred any sharing if their data. The data of users' friends was also often made available without explicit consent, according to the report, raising compliance issues with a 2011 consent decree from the Federal Trade Commission.

Facebook has rejected claims by the New York Times that its sharing of personal data with smartphone firms represented a breach of privacy pledges that it had made to its members and a USA regulator.

Facebook is disputing a New York Times report about how it shares data with device makers from Apple and Amazon to Samsung.

The post goes on to say that the partners signed agreements that prevented people's information from being used for any other objective than to recreated Facebook-like experiences, which had to be approved by Facebook's engineering teams. Facebook on Monday contested the Times' reporting in a blog post penned by VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong.

The arrangements raise a number of questions, among them whether Facebook failed to get the explicit consent of users before sharing their data.

And it has said the circumstances were "very different" from those involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which user data was used for different purposes.

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Facebook confirmed the agreements but said they were used for creating "Facebook-like experiences" before app stores were the norm. I thought it was fairly common knowledge that BlackBerry had some special access to the Facebook API, especially with the way BBOS devices handled Facebook and how Facebook for BlackBerry 10 integrated with contacts and such through the Hub.

It said Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Amazon were among others to have struck data-sharing agreements. It claims that in return for cash Facebook allowed these companies to access user data including relationship status, religion and political alignment without ever seeking user consent. Facebook released the documents last month, but provided the lawmakers with the name of only one partner - BlackBerry - and little information about how its agreement with the device maker worked.

Facebook's already spotty data sharing policy is apparently more problematic than observers had believed. So far there's no evidence that phone and tablet makers used Facebook data improperly, in sharp contrast to Cambridge Analytica consultants.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of US Congress and the European Parliament in an attempt to reassure users and governments alike that Facebook is not mishandling the vast amounts of personal data collected by its platform.

The firestorm erupted in March when it emerged that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, gained improper access to tens of millions of Facebook users' data.

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