Facebook Is Accusing Of Sharing The Data With Apple, Samsung, And Amazon: The opprobrium over Facebook’s data privacy is practicing and continues. The time, the New York Times reports Facebook has shared an inappropriate amount of the user information with the device manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.
The details: According to the NYT, Facebook’s deals with hardware manufacturers predate the existence of the Facebook app. The company created APIs which would allow companies such as Apple or Blackberry to develop Facebook-like features. To enables these features to the function, the company agreed to share user data with the companies.
The NYT questions whether these agreements conflict with a 2011 Federal Trade Commission decree that required, among other things, Facebook to, obtain consumers’ affirms the express consent before enacting changes that override the privacy preferences. The API provides access to much more information than the consumers might be aware.
As an example, writer Michael LaForgia logged into his Facebook account on a Blackberry Z10. The phone’s Hub app retrieved religious, relationship, and political information on all of his 556 friends, and 294,258 of his friends’ friends.
The counterargument: Facebook responded to the article directly in a press release. In it, Ime Archibong, the company’s VP of product partnerships, argues the two situations are entirely different:
Given that these APIs enabled other companies to recreate the Facebook experience, we controlled them tightly from the get-go. These partners signed agreements that prevented people’s Facebook information from being used for any other purpose than to recreate Facebook-like experiences. It is very different from the public APIs used by third-party developers, like Aleksandr Kogan.
Archibong says the APIs were created to fill a demand for mobile Facebook which the company cannot fulfill alone and are thus necessary. He also notes the company is winding down these partnerships in general, having already ending 22 of them.
Why it matters, has this happened before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it might not seem quite so shady.
If you are using both Facebook and, say, an Apple product, you probably have some inherent trust in both companies more than I daresay most had in the developer of a Facebook quiz.
Archibong also pointed out Facebook’s agreements with the companies were designs to prevent misuse, and the company knows of nothing.
On the other hand, says we create these APIs to fill a public need, is not precisely refuting the notion that these APIs shared more than the usual amount of private data with companies.
Whether Facebook is violating the FTC consent decree remains to see. The Commission is confirming earlier this year it was conducting a non-public investigation into the company following Cambridge Analytica.
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