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

06 June 2018

Archibong said the data was only shared with device makers for the purposes of improving Facebook users' access to the information.

Facebook says it has already started winding down access to user data by device makers and has ended relationships with 22 of the approximately 60 companies it had partnerships with.

This time, the New York Times reports Facebook has apparently shared an inappropriate amount of user information with device manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.

The scope of how much data Facebook has fumbled over the years, through a diverse collection of data harvesters, continues to expand: initial estimates of data that Cambridge Analytica siphoned off for micro-targeted political ads was in the region of 50 million users.

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny in recent months over the Trump-linked firm's profiling of US voters in order to target them with personalized political ads, using personal information it obtained from Facebook. A Microsoft spokesperson told the Times that Facebook data was stored locally on Microsoft phones, but not synced to Microsoft's servers.

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The APIs now in question, according to Archibong, are very different from those used by Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook disputed this claim, noting in a blog post Sunday that "friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends".

While the reporter appeared to have willingly given access to his Facebook data, the fact that the responses from his friends look to have been sucked up by BlackBerry's software is worrying, as the reporter's friends may not have agreed to such data syphoning by a non-Facebook service.

The senators also want Zuckerberg to answer how Facebook verifies that its data partners aren't abusing that information, as well as what other manufacturers the social network partnered with. (D-NJ) meanwhile called for the Federal Trade Commission to review whether Facebook had violated its 2011 consent decree with the agency.

The agreements required the third-party companies to use the information only for the intended objective of integrating features into users' devices, Facebook says. Facebook says that this is okay because even though it stopped providing this information to third parties in 2015, it doesn't consider BlackBerry to be a third party because of the partnership that it and other device makers have with Facebook.

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8/ This wasn't a small misstatement - the crux of Facebook's argument was that they fixed the friend permission problem in 2014.

The report says that the company hasn't only been sharing user data with their device makers but also their friends', as well.

A Blackberry spokesman said the company "did not collect or mine" the data given by Facebook.

"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.

Though the company claimed that the company's device partners can use the data to only provide "the Facebook experience", these companies can access data about a user's Facebook friends, even those who have denied the social media company permission to share information with third parties.

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A similar practice involving third-party apps on Facebook landed CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg before Congress during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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