Facebook has disclosed the businesses that it offered special rights to access data of users after shutting the others out. The company itemized the business in a publication last week to respond to questions posed by US politicians concerning its practices.
Facebook stated that the 61 companies had been offered an impermanent exemption to a block on apps that access information about users’ friends. The company further identified 52 businesses that it had allowed to tap its data with the intention of recreating Facebook-like experiences.
Last month, the social network was in the midst of criticism from American lawmakers after it was discovered that several Chinese companies such as Huawei had been included in the latter list even though Facebook had not consulted its users on the same.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company is under immense pressure to reveal more details regarding its data sharing habits particularly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal involved a political consultancy based in the UK acquiring personal information about Facebook users which is a breach of the Platform’s rules.
Initially, Facebook only permitted third-party apps to access data about users’ friends. However, after a critical analysis of the practice by the Irish data protection commissioner, it was reported that the special access would be barred as from 30 April 2015.
The Social network has also revealed that Serotek, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in software for visually impaired users was allowed access for an extra eight months. Additionally, 60 other business was provided shorter extensions to the deadline. Some of these companies are Nike, Nissan, Hinge, Playtika, Spotify, UPS and Mail.ru.
In a separate scheme, Facebook permitted specific hardware and software firms to access the personal details of its members with the aim of building their versions of Facebook or Facebook features. The fact that some of the partnerships are active raises eyebrows with concerns that they may breach the commitments to privacy pledged by Facebook to American watchdogs and the public.
Companies that no longer possess extensive access include Dell, Warner Bros, Orange, Huawei, Kodak, LG, O2 and Virgin Mobile. Facebook has also disclosed that it proceeded to offer data access to 14 companies some of which had not been identified earlier. These include Alibaba, Nokia, Vodafone, Yahoo and Zing Mobile.
Facebook asserts that there was reviewing and subsequent approval of all data sharing agreements by its partnerships and engineering teams and did not find any evidence of abuse. The tech firm has also provided updates on its efforts to discover other situations similar to Cambridge Analytica. It said that 200 apps had been suspended and an additional 14 apps associated with the Canadian data analytics company.