Phone and other device makers might be able to access vast amounts of users’ personal information in an agreement with Facebook, raising new concerns with the platform’s privacy protection policies.
Facebook has reached agreements with at least 60 device makers to access personal information of its users and their friends. These agreements were made with Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, and Microsoft among others.
Facebook is already under inspection for misuse of millions of its users’ data after the leak scandal of Cambridge Analytica data became public. Since then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of the congress in an attempt to answer questions about Facebook’s handling of user data. The leading social media platform reportedly allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent. The contracts raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Data sharing was an early issue of 2012. Before social media applications were the norm, people used to access websites through their phone’s in-built internet portal. Facebook had data sharing partnerships with the device makers at the time. The device makers were able to access data of users’ friends, such as relationship status, religion, and political learning. While Facebook wanted to expand its reach, the phone makers were able to add new features for the customers such as ‘like buttons’ and ‘address books’. Most of these deals will remain in effect.
Facebook officials have denied that the device partnerships violate the privacy policies, and also rejected claims on users’ friends’ data available without consent.