Facebook has been sharing user data with 60 smartphone OEMs including BlackBerry

This sharing of user data continued even after Facebook declared that it would stop sharing such data with outsiders, according to the New York Times. The data was reportedly shared with device makers via the company's device-integrated APIs.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook shared users' data with third-party firms making such as Apple, BlackBerry (???), Microsoft and Samsung, according to The New York Times.

In the United States, the tech giant's treatment of its users' sensitive information triggered new questions as to whether Facebook violated a settlement it brokered with the FTC in 2011 over a different privacy mishap.

Without explicit consent, device makers were allowed to access data of users' friends, even after Facebook said it would not share such information. It shouldn't have taken so many years and so many Facebook crises over lax data-sharing for the company to end outside companies' access to certain information, including a feature that allowed third parties to see what private events people had indicated on Facebook that they planned to attend.

And such reports are not something the company welcome following the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, which involved a misuse of Facebook's data policies by the political strategy company and a failure by Facebook to properly stop such a thing from happening.

In a blog post titled "Why we disagree with the New York Times", the company said it "tightly" controlled third parties' use of the data.

"These contracts and partnerships are entirely consistent with Facebook's FTC consent decree", Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of Product Partnerships, in a statement.

"Think of an API as a side door that allows you to retrieve data from a guarded room". It also found the data of users' friends could be accessed, despite data sharing being turned off.

Archibong assures that this practice is now winding down due to the popularity of the Android and iOS apps, with Facebook ending 22 of the 60 partnerships already. And our partnership and engineering teams approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.

"Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends", Archibong added.

Kogan developed an app that required people to sign in using their Facebook accounts - and that then harvested data about those users and their friends, that was then used by Cambridge Analytica to develop psychological profiles of USA voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Newly at issue is a series of relationships brokered over the past decade between Facebook and roughly 60 firms, including Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, HTC, Microsoft and Samsung.

Apple has confirmed it is among those to have stopped using the APIs, and said that it had mainly employed them to let users post pictures and other information without first having to open the Facebook app. "We are not aware of any abuse by these companies". Twenty-two of the partnerships have since ended, it said.

'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.

"Over and over Facebook has proven itself unworthy of user's trust".

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