Facebook accused of sharing your personal data with OEMs

Facebook accused of sharing your personal data with OEMs

Facebook accused of sharing your personal data with OEMs

Some apps (these device makers) still have access to friend data.

If we've learned anything from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, its that our personal Facebook data has some real value.

Who still has access and why?

Lawmakers were quick to call into question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent testimony on Capitol Hill, claiming the tech titan had misled members of Congress on the company's practice of providing data to third-party entities. The reporters found that the app not only accessed extensive information about the reporter's profile, it got ahold of similar data from his friends, and from friends of friends, too. The Times reports that most of the partnerships are still in effect, though Facebook started shutting them down in April, during its soul searching on privacy and data practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.

Because Facebook considers the device manufacturers to be "insiders", the companies can also get data about users' friends, regardless of whether they've turned off sharing of data with third parties.

What does that software do with the data?

This isn't Cicilline's first time addressing the social media giant.

Facebook in 2014 announced plans to shut down the data spigot the following year.

According to the report, Apple stopped accessing Facebook data last September, while Microsoft used its access to the data for notification and contact purposes only, holding no data on its own servers. Amazon and Samsung refused to comment.

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A Facebook statement in response to the report denies that information belonging to friends of users was shared without permission.

In his rebuttal, Archibong makes no mention of the FTC's 2011 consent degree, which The Times' story suggests might have been violated.

Facebook responded to the accusations on its Newsroom Blog in a post titled "Why We Disagree with the New York Times", again asserting that partnerships with device makers are "very different" from their relationships with third-party developers using public APIs (like the Aleksandr Kogan app that Cambridge Analytica utilized to exploit user data).

It seems that even after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has not yet covered all its legal bases or sorted out any loose ends. The data has allegedly been shared over the past decade. If you're using both Facebook and, say, an Apple product, you probably have some inherent trust in both companies - moreso than I daresay most had in the developer of a Facebook quiz.

US Congressman David Cicilline, who has introduced a bill meant to curb Facebook and Google's influence in the news industry, said the Times report raises questions about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's testimony before Congress earlier this year.

Facebook has pushed back against general criticism of its data sharing partnerships with device makers. "Individuals cannot be expected to be able to weigh the risks and benefits of sharing their personal information, when the transaction is mostly completely opaque by design and they can't trust what companies are telling them".

"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences".

Facebook officials told the newspaper that device partners are restricted to using Facebook users' data only to provide versions of "the Facebook experience".

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