Last Sunday (3/6), the New York Times published a story stating that the Facebook it would have given “deep access” to its users' data to several device manufacturers.
The article explains and criticizes an API that would have been made available to 60 device manufacturers, including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung in order to allow them to offer Facebook features such as messages, address books and more to their users.
Third-party access would have lasted ten years and remained valid even after ensuring Federal Trade Commission (American body dealing with consumer rights) that would no longer share these types of data.
Facebook allowed device companies to access data from users' friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that they would no longer share such information with others. Some device manufacturers were able to retrieve personal information even from friends of users who believed they had prevented any sharing.
An Apple representative said the company "relied on private access to Facebook data for features that allowed users to post photos on the social network without opening the Facebook application, among other things." Since last September, however, Ma's devices no longer have this type of access (native integration).
The article also shared some speeches by privacy researchers who revealed that this was a “serious privacy problem” and that it would generate “security risks”. Ashkan Soltani, a research and privacy consultant who previously served as chief technologist at the FTC, said that “as if they had installed locks and then we found out that the locksmith also gave keys to all his friends, so they could get their things without him. ask permission ”.
To defend himself against the charges, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, Ime Archibong, published on the same day a note disagreeing with the subject of New York Times.
He says that this API was used even before there were app stores on the devices. Therefore, the app could only be available on devices if the social network (and companies like Google, Twitter and YouTube) worked together with the manufacturers and their operating systems, which created their Facebook "experiences".
Archibong also said that these APIs integrated with the devices were controlled “strictly”:
Partners could not integrate user resources on Facebook with devices without user permission. And our engineering and partnership teams have approved the Facebook experiences that these companies build. Contrary to the claims of the New York Times, friends' information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made the decision to share their information with those friends. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies.
Finally, the executive stated that now, as there are already app stores, this type of API is no longer used and that is why they announced in April that they are ending this integration.
One thing is certain: something that Facebook no longer needs privacy and security issues on its platform
via AppleInsider, TechCrunch