Facebook Reportedly Shared Friend Data with Companies Long After Promising to Stop

Facebook Shared User Data With Select Companies

These deals granted certain companies access to Facebook's user data until as late as this year.

The companies had access to the data during a stretch of time in 2015 after Facebook had locked out most developers who build apps that work on its social network.

Facebook says its data-sharing agreements with RBC, Nissan and others were in line with the 2012 Federal Trade Commission settlement requiring the company to give users clear notice and obtain their consent before sharing information beyond their privacy settings.

Social media giant Facebook had customised data-sharing deal with certain companies giving them special access to user's records, a media report said on Saturday.

Facebook, in particular, allowed them to receive information about users' phones, as well as statistics, from which it was possible to determine how close their relationships with each other were.

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"Disclosure of the deals punctures a hole in the picture Facebook has tried to paint as a suddenly user-friendly, privacy-minded company after 2014-not that anyone was buying that image anyway", Dellinger wrote. One former Facebook employee told the Journal, "99 percent of developers were treated the same, but 1 percent got special treatment because they accounted for all the value of the platform".

It's unclear how many companies were allowed this special access or how long it lasted. In April, Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress after Facebook disclosed, following news reports, that as many as 87 million users' data was sold to a political ad targeting firm during the 2016 US presidential election without the users' consent. The move coaxed more people to join Facebook and spend more time there, fueling the rapid rise of the social network from 58 million users to more than 2 billion. "But other than that, things were shut down".

Facebook's deals with Huawei drew special scrutiny, as heads of CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of USA national intelligence in February warned Americans from using Huawei devices because they were concerned the company shared data with the Chinese government.

The companies with which the data was shared, used it for the goal of advertising and other purposes.

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