At least 60 different firms - including Apple and Microsoft - have data-sharing partnerships with Facebook, which gave them access to user data without explicit consent, according to a New York Times investigation.
Facebook told the Times that the device makers can only harness social network account information to provide versions of the "Facebook experience", although the Times reporting shows that device makers seemed to have access to information that went beyond what was necessary to build useful apps.
The practice may have violated Facebook's 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to be more transparent about its privacy policies, the report notes. This was to the extent that some companies could retrieve data on a Facebook user's friends even when such sharing was thought to have been barred. He stated that if a user does not want their data shared with a third-party company, all they have to do is opt-out.
"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", said Archibong.
If you're using both Facebook and, say, an Apple product, you probably have some inherent trust in both companies - moreso than I daresay most had in the developer of a Facebook quiz.
"This is yet another concerning example of companies collecting, sharing, and exploiting users' data in completely unexpected ways", commented Privacy International's legal officer Ailidh Callander.
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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.
Facebook confirmed the agreements, but said they were used for creating "Facebook-like experiences" before app stores were the norm.
According to The New York Times, Facebook did this even after it declared it would no longer share such "deep access" with external companies. This means that the software of companies including Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and BlackBerry gets to plug into Facebook's systems and access data that does not belong to the specific person who's using that software.
"We are not aware of any abuse by these companies", Facebook adds. The company claimed that once it discovered Cambridge Analytica's transgression, it immediately took swift action to rectify the situation.
Facebook integration has been a thing for quite some time, with the social media firm giving companies access to its users' data via built-in address books, like systems and log-in features.
"This was flagged internally as a privacy issue", Sandy Parakilas, who then led Facebook's privacy compliance, told The Times.
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". Blackberry said it did not "collect or mine" Facebook data itself.