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

Facing new accusations about how it handles users' data, Facebook says "we disagree" with reports that the company exposed a wealth of private information to other tech giants as part of its plan to become ubiquitous on mobile devices.

Friends of friends: On the above point, the story says that one reporter discovered that the BlackBerry Hub gleaned private data, including political leanings and events they planned to attend, from 556 of his friends.

The report stated that the deals let Facebook expand its reach, and gave manufacturers access to popular Facebook features such as messaging, like buttons, and contact information that could be synchronised with address books.

The practice may have violated Facebook's 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to be more transparent about its privacy policies, the report notes.

The newspaper reported the social network had given at least 60 device-makers access to users' friends' data without obtaining explicit consent.

The New York Times discovered that the BlackBerry phone "was also able to retrieve identifying information for almost 295,000 Facebook users" and that "Facebook empowers BlackBerry devices to access more than 50 types of information about users and their friends".

The agreements required the third-party companies to use the information only for the intended goal of integrating features into users' devices, Facebook says. Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission.

"This is yet another concerning example of companies collecting, sharing, and exploiting users' data in completely unexpected ways", commented Privacy International's legal officer Ailidh Callander. A Microsoft representative said the company started working with Facebook in 2008 but said no data was synced with Microsoft servers as it was stored locally on the phones powered by Microsoft.

It's certainly connected. Cambridge Analytica was able to get its hands on the data of so many Facebook users-up to 87 million-because Facebook used to make it easy for third parties to get data on Facebook users and everyone with whom those users were connected. "And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built", Archibong said. Facebook's rebuttal also leans heavily on an explanation that many of those data agreements with smartphone companies were struck when it was common for BlackBerry, Samsung and others to have customized apps for people to use their social network accounts.

Facebook confirmed the agreements, but said they were used for creating "Facebook-like experiences" before app stores were the norm. "It's why we announced in April that we're winding down access to them", the company wrote. We've already ended 22 of these partnerships.

'This was flagged internally as a privacy issue, ' in 2012 said Parakilas, who left Facebook that year and is now a harsh critic of the company. And friends' information 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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