Facebook gave phone makers access to user data

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But The Times's reporting shows that Facebook continued to allow that kind of access to dozens of the world's biggest tech and hardware companies - and only began shutting down the data-sharing partnerships after the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted in March.

On Monday, Facebook went on the offensive, echoing to politicians on Twitter Archibong's point that data was never integrated onto devices without users' permission.

Facebook, according to The Times, signed agreements with Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft and Samsung over the last 10 years - providing them access to users' data. Furthermore, the strong partition present on BlackBerry handsets along with the comprehensive permission model and app isolation techniques we employ would prevent any unauthorized access to our user's private data. And it could spark additional scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which is already investigating Facebook for a series of other recent, privacy mishaps. During that testimony, Zuckerberg said that Facebook users could completely control their own data. That settlement followed complaints from users that Facebook wasn't allowing them to keep their information on the social network private-Facebook promised to get consent from users before sharing their data with third parties, and to avoid making deceptive claims about its privacy practices. Furthermore, the app was able to uniquely identify another 294,258 people.

The social media giant on Monday pushed back against the story, writing in a post that partners "signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences".

The deals granted the companies access to a user's relationship status, political leaning, educational history, religion and upcoming events, according to the news outlet.

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

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The companies' access remained in tact even after Facebook realized in 2015 that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had exploited its access to tens of millions of users' personal information.

"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other goal than to recreate Facebook-like experiences". While this sounds relatively harmless, Facebook has now been caught giving Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Blackberry and at least 56 other manufacturers "deep access" to each user and their friends without consent.

"I think the more unauthorised sharing that comes out, the more the FTC is going to be inclined to impose a significant civil penalty on Facebook", said David Vladeck, a former top official at the agency when it punished Facebook in 2011.

The New York Times has broken what could amount to the next major Facebook data breech scandal. If people want to share a photo taken on their smartphone camera to Facebook, it's handy if the phone maker is able to let them tap one button on their phone to do so.

Meanwhile, Facebook said it started winding down the partnerships in April, as they were no longer needed to serve users. The company said that since iOS and Android are so popular now, not many need these APIs to offer their own custom Facebook experiences.

Wylie, the former Cambridge Analytica whistleblower who went public with his concerns earlier this year, told MEPs the issue helped cause Brexit: "This crisis is not just one of privacy, it is one that may have led the European Union to losing one of its largest member states".

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