Another scandal hit Facebook on Tuesday. The New York Times revealed that the social media giant allowed other tech firms, including Apple, to access user’s personal data to a far greater degree than was known by those users. Apple devices blocked users from knowing that their device was asking for personal data.
Data Collection Information Hidden from Apple Users
Facebook users on Apple devices were not made aware of what personal data their devices were collecting. The investigation into Facebook also found that Apple devices could access contact numbers and calendar entries for those users who had disabled all sharing.
Apple denied knowing that Facebook had given special access to its devices and insisted that shared data only remained on the device. Apple said such data was not available to anybody else.
Other Tech Giants Given Access to Data
The report also said that Facebook, “allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent.” Microsoft said its search service used the Facebook data to build profiles of users on its servers. Furthermore, Netflix and Spotify were allowed to read users’ private Facebook messages. Amazon collected users’ names and contact information via their friends, while Yahoo! could read streams of friends posts until this summer.
What is more, Russian search engine Yandex was named an integration partner and had access to the social network’s data up until 2017. It was accused of passing information on to the Kremlin.
The latest revelations come just weeks after Facebook executive Lord Richard Allan was questioned by a committee of international politicians about his company’s practices. We should note that Lord Allan didn’t mention any of the revelations newly disclosed by The Times.