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

The New York Times is out with a report alleging that Facebook improperly let other companies have access to users' personal information-and even their friends' information.

But the company officials did not disclose that such restrictions were not applicable to makers of cellphones, tablets and other hardware, the report said.

Facebook told the Times that the device makers can only harness social network account information to provide versions of the "Facebook experience", although the Times reporting shows that device makers seemed to have access to information that went beyond what was necessary to build useful apps.

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.

Post-Cambridge Analytica, but pre-scandal, Facebook had started to limit the amount of access app makers and third-party firms have to its users' data in 2014.

"These contracts and partnerships are entirely consistent with Facebook's FTC consent decree", Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of Product Partnerships, in a statement.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's app clean-up may end up being more hard than we think.

Facebook's already spotty data sharing policy is apparently more problematic than observers had believed.

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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. The publication says Facebook has been sharing information about users with major phone makers-including Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung-for over a decade.

Facebook used Twitter to push back against some of the lawmakers, telling Cicilline that the Times "is wrong about user controls".

Facebook confirmed the agreements, but said they were used for creating "Facebook-like experiences" before app stores were the norm.

On April 10, CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a rare US Senate joint committee in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Through a combination of legal agreements and software, Facebook "allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems", the social giant acknowledged in a blog post Monday.

The social network added that it was not aware of there being any abuse of the shared data.

A former Facebook employee who led third-party ad and privacy compliance, Sandy Parakilas, noted that the program was controversial even within Facebook. The New York Times says the data shared included Facebook users' education history, relationship status, work, political leanings, religion, and upcoming events.

"Friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends", he said.

"Over and over Facebook has proven itself unworthy of user's trust".

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