Facebook in another Data Sharing Scandal involving Device Makers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in early April.                  Xinhua News Agency  Getty

"And if we find that someone improperly used data, we're going to ban them from Facebook and tell everyone affected", he added. A Microsoft spokesperson told the Times that Facebook data was stored locally on Microsoft phones, but not synced to Microsoft's servers.

'It is shocking that this practice may still continue six years later, and it appears to contradict Facebook's testimony to Congress that all friend permissions were disabled'.

When they were first introduced 10 years ago, offering APIs to makers of mobile operating systems and devices was common industry practice, according to Ime Archibong, vice president, product partnerships at Facebook.

The data-sharing arrangements date from as early as 2008; a lot of them continue through to today, although Facebook began dismantling some of the deals in April - the same month its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified about privacy protections and political propaganda in Congress. Apple contends it did not store the data for itself.

What it failed to declare, however, was that the 60 companies it had made a deal with were exempt from such policies, retaining their ability to access the data of users' friends without consent. Blackberry similarly refrained from touching the data aside from its intended access, and Samsung refused to address the matter publicly.

Facebook declined Monday to detail a full list of device makers with which it had brokered such arrangements.

The company began to wind down the program in April.

"Given that these APIs enabled other companies to recreate the Facebook experience, we controlled them tightly from the get-go", it states.

Here's a short list of all the companies that might have gotten their hands on your very intimate Facebook data without your knowledge: Global Science Research, S.C.L. Group (Cambridge Analytica's parent company), AggregateIQ. In exchange, Facebook gave them nearly unrestricted access to users' data as well as their friends'. "This company from what I've seen has disregarded a consent decree and behaved in a way that is inimical to consumers' interest..." "You shouldn't be able to lie to people".

This, of course, did let device makers access Facebook data.

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Facebook, however, maintains their position that they did nothing wrong.

The data included information such as relationship status, religion, political affiliation and planned events.

Facebook said it looks forward to addressing any questions the Commerce Committee has.

The Privacy International campaign group said companies must "protect users' data by default".

Legally, Facebook's fate may rest on a few key phrases.

Social networking giant, Facebook, plunges deeper into trouble over breach of its users' data. The agreement defines "third party" to include a whole host of other individual entities, potentially like advertisers or app-makers.

But Facebook said that this was only done to help offer a mobile service.

To that end, Facebook contends that companies like Samsung or BlackBerry in these cases are suppliers, not third parties.

The New York Times reports that when using a Blackberry Z10 and logging into the Facebook Hub app, they were able to retrieve detailed data on 556 friends of the owner of the device.

Adding to Facebook's defense, Archibong said that device-integrated APIs could not integrate users' Facebook features with their devices without their permission.

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