Technology

Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

"What we have been trying to determine is whether Facebook has knowingly handed over user data elsewhere without explicit consent", Winkelmeier-Becker told The New York Times.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April to answer questions about data the company provided to third parties about their users.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Facebook struck data-sharing deals with at least 60 device makers, including Apple and Amazon, raising more concerns about what users give up when they use Facebook.

The practice may have violated Facebook's 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to be more transparent about its privacy policies, the report notes. "BlackBerry users seem to have been turned into data dealers, unknowingly and unwillingly".

Unlike developers that provide games and services to Facebook users, the device partners can use Facebook data only to provide versions of "the Facebook experience", the officials were quoted as saying. They continued to share data with device OEMs even when third-party data sharing was disabled, though still has noted that users could consent (or not) to share their data.

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.

Apple's software upgrades also include features that help users understand how much time they are spending on their devices, amid concerns of growing smartphone addiction.

The Times specifically takes issue with Facebook's practice of letting these device partners "override sharing restrictions".

Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have "complete control" over who sees our data on Facebook.

The access comes from partnerships Facebook made with about 60 mobile device companies starting in 2007.

Facebook said in April it would begin winding down access to its device-integrated APIs, but the New York Times says that many of those partnerships are still in effect.

Archibong said these cases were "very different" from the use of data by third-party developers in the Cambridge Analytica case.

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung were among the companies Facebook reached agreements with, allowing the companies to access users' relationship status, religion, political views, and upcoming events they attend.

Of course, such agreements didn't prevent the information of an estimated 87 million members - most of whom live in the Unites States - from being "improperly shared" with Cambridge Analytica.

The example used? You better believe it was Facebook. "And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built", Archibong said.

Apple, Samsung and Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

"Companies must protect users' data by default".


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