Facebook Is Still Giving Dozens of Companies Access to the Data of Users’ Friends
Facebook is still sharing information about its users’ friends with dozens of app developers, despite having said six months ago that it was cutting off such access.
The continued sharing first came to light a month ago, when it became clear that Facebook (FB) was sharing this data with certain phone manufacturers. Then Facebook admitted that some of these partners were Chinese, raising fears about espionage.
And now the number of app developers receiving this data has been upped to 61, per a Friday disclosure to Congress. Those recipients include UPS, the dating app Hinge, and Nissan—the Wall Street Journal reported the news about the Japanese auto firm back on June 8.
And then there’s another five companies that “theoretically could have accessed limited friends data” by participating in a Facebook experiment.
The company claims it is maintaining the data-sharing while it gives the firms time to “come into compliance” with the policy change it made back in 2015. The change supposedly stopped third-party developers from accessing data about users’ friends—this was after the mass siphoning of data that’s involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
As friends-of-users can’t meaningfully consent to their data being shared with third parties without their knowledge, there is a possibility that this sharing frenzy violates Facebook’s 2011 “consent decree” deal with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in which Facebook promised to get such consent. It also certainly doesn’t gel with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect in late May.