Oooops, Facebook did it again. Just when the whole mess concerning the Cambridge Analytica scandal was more or less forgotten the New York Times dredged up another of Facebook’s dirty little secrets: Apparently the social media platform has been sharing their user’s data without consent.
Do you know who has your data?
Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft, Blackberry, and HTC – this are just a few of the around 60 names of companies that Facebook has been giving access to a whole lot of your data. According to the New York Times the deals were made around 10 years ago, back when the social media platform didn’t have their own apps for most of the operating systems out there.
While Facebook claims the opposite it seems that a lot of the information that was shared was not even given out voluntarily – or per permission nor the knowledge of the user. Quite the opposite is true: “Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing,” the New York Times says.
1 person = access to 300000 people
Does this sound bad? It gets even worse. The newspaper tested what data could be gathered via an old Blackberry device and it’s shocking: Not only was it able to retrieve personal details about the phone owner’s friends – like name, workplace, relationship status, religion, and political leaning. No, it was also possible to access information on the almost 300 000 friends of his friends.
Facebook claims: Not true!
This is a hard pill to swallow, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal when Facebook claimed they were not giving any 3rd parties access to data since 2015. Except to around 60 tech companies it seems.
Facebook itself says it has done nothing wrong: In a blog article that reacts to the news they claim that “contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies.”
With the need of those deals dying out – thanks to the popularity of iOS and Android – Facebook is also starting to end said partnerships. By now they already terminated 22.