Economy

Facebook defends data sharing after new report on partner deals

Facebook defends data sharing after new report on partner deals

The New York Times reports that Facebook gave unrestricted access to users' personal data to more than 150 companies.

Platforms such as Sony, Microsoft and Amazon could obtain users' email addresses through their friends, and Yahoo was able to "view streams of friends' posts", despite statements saying it had stopped that type of sharing before. Amazon, Microsoft's Bing search engine and Yahoo were also data partners. The deals were made over the years, dating back to as early as 2010.

Facebook has acknowledged allowing Netflix and Spotify to access people's private messages.

"To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people's permission", the social media company said.

"When companies repeatedly lie to Congress and the American people about what they do with our messages, location, likes and everything else, Congress has a duty to do something about it", Wyden said in a statement.

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In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, Facebook said its partnerships or features did not give companies access to information without people's permission.

Satterfield also said that Facebook had made errors in its handling of these partnerships, which allowed continued use of data after the formal agreements had ended, and that it was now working to terminate many of them. The FTC this spring opened a new inquiry into Facebook's compliance with the consent order, while the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are also investigating the company. According to a new investigation by The New York Times, Facebook has been looking over your shoulder at your private messages and giving them to all sorts of huge corporations.

The documents reviewed by the Times raise questions of whether Facebook's data-sharing agreements ran afoul of a consent decree issued by the Federal Trade Commission meant to monitor how Facebook tracks and shares data about its users.

"Over the years, we've partnered with other companies so people can use Facebook on devices and platforms that we don't support ourselves". They also underscore how personal data has become, The Times reported, "the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond". It was "never that popular, so we shut the feature down in 2015", the company said.

"Still, we recognise that we've needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information", he added. While the company has employed a "sorry, won't happen again" cookie cutter response, more and more reports keep coming, revealing that Facebook isn't afraid to break the laws and exploit its users' data. Which is to say that for years Facebook hasn't cared about its users, so why are we to believe that it's going to start doing so now?


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