Facebook Slammed With Potential Data Privacy Violations For 'Private APIs' 06/05/2018

Facebook says it “disagrees” with the New York Times’ criticisms of its device-integrated APIs		
		
	Catherine Shu

       @	   
   	8 hours

"Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users' friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders", the daily said reporting the results of its investigation.

The newspaper said the unfettered access continued even after Facebook agreed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011 to better protect data and only share it after getting users' express consent. This time, the New York Times reports Facebook has apparently shared an inappropriate amount of user information with device manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.

In a post on Facebook's blog, vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong reiterates the company's stance that the device-integrated APIs were controlled tightly.

In a piece entitled "Why We Disagree with The New York Times", Facebook pushed back strongly against the claims.

On Monday, Facebook went on the offensive, echoing to politicians on Twitter Archibong's point that data was never integrated onto devices without users' permission.

"This took a lot of time - and Facebook was not able to get to everyone".

Archibong says the APIs were created to fill a demand for mobile Facebook which the company couldn't fulfill alone, and were thus necessary.

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Facebook has argued that the data sharing does not breach FTC guidelines and is consistent with the privacy policies shared with users.

Facebook late Sunday responded to a news report that said the social media giant struck agreements with at least 60 phone and device manufacturers and gave them extensive access to users' personal information. A response that is really par for the course for BlackBerry and as noted, the data was not used in the same manner as Cambridge Analytica.

'Every piece of content that you share on Facebook you own, ' he told a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee. The reporters found that the app not only accessed extensive information about the reporter's profile, it got ahold of similar data from his friends, and from friends of friends, too.

'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.

We will remind, the General Director of Facebook mark Zuckerberg has apologized to the European Parliament for the mistakes of the social network in connection with the scandal with the leak of information.

As NPR notes, a huge part of the issue that is being brought up is the application programming interfaces (API) that Facebook provided to these companies in order to make the integration of the social media site onto their devices easier. Private APIs allowed companies like Amazon, Apple, and Blackberry to access user data, including "relationship status, political leanings, and events they planned to attend". Samsung declined to comment.

Among other controls, Archibong insists that Facebook made partners sign agreements that prevented user information from being exploited.

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