Facebook shared user data with Apple, other device manufacturers, report says

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in iPhone
Social media giant Facebook admits it had data-sharing partnerships with Apple and many other device manufacturers over a period of years, granting third-party access to users' personal data before the company made apps available on iOS and Android.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg


According to a New York Times report Sunday, Facebook reached data-sharing deals over a period of several years with "nearly 60" device makers, including such major tech companies as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and BlackBerry/Research in Motion.

Some of the deals remain in effect, although 22 were shut down following this spring's Cambridge Analytica brouhaha.

The Times report also stated that while Facebook had stated previously that the sort of data sharing given to Cambridge was cut off by 2015, electronics hardware makers were exempted. Facebook, however, told the newspaper that it "strictly limited use of the data," and that "they knew of no cases where the information had been misused."

The story does not make clear exactly how much data Apple shared, or how deep the sharing went. An Apple spokesperson stated that Apple "relied on private access to Facebook data for features that enabled users to post photos to the social network without opening the Facebook app, among other things." However, Apple cut off that access last September.

According to the report, Facebook's privacy sharing policies granted certain manufacturers access to individual users data including information on relationship status, events calendar events, religion and political affiliation. Device makers could also access data on friends who declined to share their information with outside parties, the report said.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Apple's Tim Cook was especially tough on Facebook. In the Revolution: Apple interview that aired on CNBC in March, Cook said that he "wouldn't be in this situation" that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was in at the time. Cook said in the same interview that Apple doesn't consider consumer data a source of income.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 892member
    What a surprise.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,651member
    This is so vague, to me it’s a non-issue.  MacOS had hooks into Facebook and it was an opt-in.  I never used it as I didn’t want that kind of hook outside of the FB portal.  

    Sounds like people trying to fish for something that’s not there.
    JFC_PAwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 13
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 336member
    sflocal said:
    This is so vague, to me it’s a non-issue.  MacOS had hooks into Facebook and it was an opt-in.  I never used it as I didn’t want that kind of hook outside of the FB portal.  

    Sounds like people trying to fish for something that’s not there.
    Yep. I also never opted in, less because I had a concern about Apple and more because I’ve no trust in FB. Even though my direct use is minimal, they tend to mission creep from my observation. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 438member
    sflocal said:
    This is so vague, to me it’s a non-issue.  MacOS had hooks into Facebook and it was an opt-in.  I never used it as I didn’t want that kind of hook outside of the FB portal.  

    Sounds like people trying to fish for something that’s not there.
    I wish for the upcoming macOS 10.14 not to have the social hooks.  Apple can have it as an add-on installation, but NOT for the basic macOS.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,626member
    sflocal said:
    This is so vague, to me it’s a non-issue.  MacOS had hooks into Facebook and it was an opt-in.  I never used it as I didn’t want that kind of hook outside of the FB portal.  

    Sounds like people trying to fish for something that’s not there.
    What they’re fishing for is page clicks, which is why Apple’s name always appears first in the headline. 

    iPhone user suffers broken finger in biggest earthquake on record. Threatens legal action against beleaguered company.

    Update:
    Earthquake death toll rises to 110,000


    radarthekatpropodGabyStrangeDayswatto_cobralamboaudi4
  • Reply 6 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,698member
    "Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing,"

    Remember when Apple promoted the "deep integration" of Facebook with iOS6? It was a big thing. Generally "partnerships" infer commercial benefits to both partners. 
    https://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/facebook-apple-wwdc/
    https://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/06/11/apple-announces-deep-facebook-integration-with-ios-6-including-single-sign-on/

    It may be simply fishing for clicks... or it may not be. A bit early to declare it to be either one IMO when the story is just a few hours old. My guess is much ado about (almost) nothing and not just concerning Apple, but these data-sharing "partnerships" between companies, especially those with billions of users, are always worth closer inspection. I agree Apple's "among other things" statement on what data they got from Facebook and what they contributed in kind is exceedingly vague as is the article itself. 

    The more obvious problem IMHO is Facebook even allowing other companies to access private user information including the personal  data from those who had not opted in. If you follow the story it indicates Facebook enabled this for these OEM's integrating Facebook into their phones,  in Apple's case a persistent connection in iOS itself, which if true is a clear violation of both Facebook privacy declarations and the 2011 Facebook consent decree with the FTC. 

    edited June 2018 Gaby
  • Reply 7 of 13
    www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/apple-expanding-ad-business-reversing-creepy-stance-wsj.html

    I guess we will know soon enough...

    edited June 2018
  • Reply 8 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,094member
    If Apple is truly "all in" with user privacy it needs to sever all technical and business relationships with Facebook that allow Apple customer data to breach to or from Facebook's untrusted-by-design data sharing policies and services. Anything less makes Apple complicit and draws Tim Cook's harsh stance against Facebook into question. Apple is either part of the problem or part of the solution - they can't be both.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,698member
    dewme said:
    If Apple is truly "all in" with user privacy it needs to sever all technical and business relationships with Facebook that allow Apple customer data to breach to or from Facebook's untrusted-by-design data sharing policies and services. Anything less makes Apple complicit and draws Tim Cook's harsh stance against Facebook into question. Apple is either part of the problem or part of the solution - they can't be both.
    I think I remember reading that Apple was beginning to back off a little as of last fall. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/apple-expanding-ad-business-reversing-creepy-stance-wsj.html

    I guess we will know soon enough...

    I hope that article's not true. They will say they have all these safeguards in place but at the end of the day they would still be making their customers in to products.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Rayz2016 said:
    sflocal said:
    This is so vague, to me it’s a non-issue.  MacOS had hooks into Facebook and it was an opt-in.  I never used it as I didn’t want that kind of hook outside of the FB portal.  

    Sounds like people trying to fish for something that’s not there.
    What they’re fishing for is page clicks, which is why Apple’s name always appears first in the headline. 

    iPhone user suffers broken finger in biggest earthquake on record. Threatens legal action against beleaguered company.

    Update:
    Earthquake death toll rises to 110,000


    Every company is guilty, but they only pick on Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,698member
    Ah, a little wordplay from Facebook:
    According to Facebook those manufacturers who partnered with them such as Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, etc  have access to members' "relationship status, religion, political leaning, upcoming events and other data.". Worse than that they could also access the personal information of the "friends" those users had.without explicit permission to do so. 

    On the surface it seems pretty clearly a violation of Facebook terms of service that prevent the sharing of user's personal information with third parties without explicit consent, and thus a violation of that 2011 FTC consent decree. But Facebook says it was all above board and perfectly permissible according to the contract with their users. How so? None of the OEM's (Sammy, Apple, et al) are third parties, but instead business partners with Facebook and considered 1st parties.

    Tricky tricky Facebook.  

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