Facebook Shared User Data With Select Companies Beyond Previously Announced Date

Daniel Fowler
June 11, 2018

Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, told the Journal that the company had allowed some companies to have "short-term extensions" to this user data.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Facebook made deals to provide user records and friend data to several companies, despite changing its own policy to prevent other apps from acquiring that information.

Facebook recently has disclosed it has been sharing its users' information with about 60 device makers, including Facebook and Samsung. The information handed over to companies included details like phone numbers and a metric called "friend link" that determined how much communication and connectivity there was between users and their friends.

In a tweet responding to the allegations, the company suggested the report had "confused" the timeline of these extensions, after partners were informed in 2014 of a one-year period before access would be cut-off in 2015.

"But other than that, things were shut down", he told the Wall Street Journal.

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The new report emerges as FB seeks to recover from the data scandal that rocked the company in March.

Facebook reportedly gave certain companies preferential treatment as well, setting up "internal teams dedicated to brokering and developing customized data deals". As the publication emphasizes, such agreements operated "well after that moment in 2015, when the social network said that it completely deprived developers of access to this information".

It "isn't clear when all of the deals ultimately expired or how many companies got extensions", the daily said.

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the Cambridge Analytica breach violated a 2011 consent decree barred it from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers' personal information. Late last month, he testified before European Union lawmakers, where he apologized for the way the social network has been used to produce fake news, interfere in elections and sweep up people's personal data.

Facebook's data practices have been under scrutiny since earlier this year when it was revealed analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, had improperly accessed data of 87 million users.

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