Here's What You Need to Know About Facebook's New Data Scandal

Barbara Underwood, the new attorney general in NY, said in a statement Monday that her office continues to investigate Facebook's data use after Cambridge Analytica, which includes looking "into these "data-sharing" partnerships".

Facebook said that the company introduced the API program for device makers 10 years ago "to help get Facebook onto mobile devices".

The New York Times reported Sunday that Facebook struck data-sharing deals with at least 60 device makers, including Apple and Amazon, raising more concerns about what users give up when they use Facebook.

While the device partnerships allowed Facebook to expand its reach, it let the phone makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, "like" buttons and address books. It's laughable for Facebook to now say it has nodded its head in agreement when the newspaper questioned the company's control over user data.

Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users' friends who believed they had barred any sharing, the New York Times found.

Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice-president of product partnerships, said the company disagreed with the Times report. These partnerships were put in place starting in 2007, with the goal of giving device manufacturers access to Facebook features, while simultaneously spreading the use of Facebook into the mobile sphere.

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"This is very different from the public APIs used by third-party developers, like Aleksandr Kogan", Archibong said on Monday, referring to the Cambridge University-affiliated researcher who is a key player in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other goal than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", Facebook wrote.

The Times piece uses the example of BlackBerry's Hub app, which aims to consolidate a user's messages from various platforms-from Facebook notifications to Gmail emails-into one interface.

A Democratic Congressman hammered Facebook and its CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook removing "trending" topics feature Facebook investor compares company's handling of user data to "human rights violation" Papua New Guinea to ban Facebook for a month MORE following a report that the company is sharing large amounts of its users' data with other companies. The company claimed that once it discovered Cambridge Analytica's transgression, it immediately took swift action to rectify the situation.

"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other goal than to recreate Facebook-like experiences". "We are not aware of any abuse by these companies". We've already ended 22 of these partnerships.

Facebook denies that claim, issuing a statement saying that information from users' contacts "was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends". At the center of that consent decree is a requirement that Facebook be more transparent about the data it collects about its users.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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