In a new case, the world’s biggest social networking was found to be involved in sharing data with phone companies, including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung.
During the last decade, Facebook has formed data-sharing partnerships with 60 device makers giving them access to information of users and even their friends, according to New York Times.
The partnerships raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The report added that the social media giant went overboard in breaching its own data policy as it not only shared users’ information but also allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends as well. Importantly, it was all happening without the explicit consent of users and even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders.
When the newspaper sifted through the data, it found that device partners were able to access Facebook users’ relationship status, religion, political leaning and upcoming events, among other data.
The social networking company, however, has denied any breach of the FTC agreement and defended the data sharing as consistent with its privacy policies. They claimed that the partnerships contracts strictly limit the use of the data, including any stored on partners’ servers.
The event once again raises questions over the seriousness of the company’s commitment towards protecting users’ data.
A year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2014, Facebook announced to cut off the kind of access it had given to developers prohibiting them from collecting information from users’ friends. But the company kept the makers of cellphones, tablets and other hardware from such restrictions.
The development was first reported by The New York Times.