Facebook gave 61 firms extended access to user data

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Facebook gave 61 businesses including Nike, Spotify, and delivery firm UPS special access to its users’ data, it has emerged.

The revelation about the extended access was made in a written submission the company filed to US Congress as part of an inquiry into how it handles data.

It contradicts the company’s previous statements that data sharing had been closed down in 2014.

Although the company had introduced stricter rules about how third-party apps accessed user data in 2013, 61 firms were granted extensions of at least six months.

The dating app Hinge, alongside corporations including AOL, Oracle, Nisan, Panasonic and Snap were among those to receive the extended access.

Mark Zuckerberg, the social media company’s founder and chief executive, previously accepted responsibility for the breach ahead of a Congressional hearing.

He said: “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry.

“I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

In the UK, MPs have formally requested that Mark Zuckerberg appear in Parliament and answer questions, although he declined.

Mr Zuckerberg told US Congress members that his own data was among that accessed in the breach.



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Video:
Zuckerberg: My own data was sold

Up to 87 million people were affected by a controversial data breach involving elections consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The disclosures made to Congress also revealed that special privileges had been granted to 52 hardware and software companies.

Apple, Amazon, and Huawei are among companies which were allowed to access basic user data to integrate Facebook-related features on their devices and services.

Facebook stated that 38 of those 52 arrangements had come to an end, with a spokesperson stating: “The purpose of these partnerships was to build Facebook and Facebook features into the partners’ devices and other products.

“People were only able to access these experiences – and the information needed to support them – when they logged in or connected their Facebook account.

“In April, we publicly announced that we’d start shutting down these APIs (application programming interfaces) – and we continue to make other changes that restrict the information people can share to better protect their privacy.”



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