‘Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress’: Democrat on Facebook report


Here, a man reads security parameters on his phone in front of a Facebook logo in Bordeaux, southwestern France.

Barbara Underwood, the new attorney general in NY, said in a statement Monday that her office continues to investigate Facebook's data use after Cambridge Analytica, which includes looking "into these "data-sharing" partnerships". This agreement with the FTC came following an investigation that discovered the social networking platform had allowed app developers to collect personal data of users' friends overriding their privacy settings.

The Times report says Facebook allowed the companies access to the data of friends of the user without their explicit consent, a practice that landed the company in the crosshairs of Congress during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Information of 294,258 friends of friends was also identified using the Hub app. The data transfer was based on a connection the phone's software was allowed to make, directly to Facebook's information. Some companies were even able to retrieve personal information from users' friends who believed they had barred any data sharing, the Times reported.

Many online companies use APIs - including NPR, which relies on them to distribute online stories to member stations.

For some folks, this report might not be all that surprising considering it has been well known that Facebook had deals in place to preload Facebook services on devices over the years but as of this past April, have started winding down those relationships. "BlackBerry users seem to have been turned into data dealers, unknowingly and unwillingly".

Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, responded to The Times' article with a blog post titled, "Why We Disagree with The New York Times".

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And such reports are not something the company welcome following the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, which involved a misuse of Facebook's data policies by the political strategy company and a failure by Facebook to properly stop such a thing from happening.

Private application programming interfaces (APIs) built for device-makers spread "user data through tens of millions of mobile devices, game consoles, televisions and other systems outside Facebook's direct control", according to the NYT.

"At the time there were no app stores and this was standard industry practice", Facebook said via Twitter.

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.

This was tightly regulated with "signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", according to Archibong, and had to be approved by Facebook to prevent any misuse.

They said its partnerships were governed by contracts that strictly limited use of the data, including any stored on partners' servers, adding that they knew of no cases where the information had been misused.