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Facebook gave Apple and Samsung access to user data (and their friends data) - CNET

Facebook gave Apple and Samsung access to user data (and their friends data) - CNET
Facebook gave Apple and Samsung access to user data (and their friends data) - CNET

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress in early April.Xinhua News Agency/Getty

According to an extensive report by the New York Times, Facebook reached agreements with at least 60 different device makers -- including companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Blackberry -- providing access to large amounts of user data. More significantly, the agreements provided access to friend's data, raising compliance issues with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission.

The report states that the data of users' friends was often made available without explicit consent.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's app clean-up may end up being more difficult than we think.

In March Facebook came under heavy fire in the wake of news that Cambridge Analytica had misused user data in the lead up to the US Presidential election. Since then Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of congress in an attempt to answer questions about Facebook's handling of user data.

In a test, a New York Times reporter logged onto Facebook using a 2013 Blackberry device, using an account with roughly 550 friends, monitoring the data requested and received. Through a Blackberry app called "The Hub", the device was able to acquire "identifying information" for up to 295,000 Facebook users. It's worth noting that a Blackberry representative told the New York Times that more recent Blackberry devices, running Android, do not use the same private channels.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a CNET request for comment, but told the New York Times that the agreement didn't violate the 2011 consent decree because companies like Apple, Blackberry or Samsung were more like "service providers", similar to cloud services paid to store data.

"These contracts and partnerships are entirely consistent with Facebook's F.T.C. consent decree," said Mr. Archibong, a Facebook official.

You can read more about the New York Times report here.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.

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