Facebook Gave Device-Makers Access To Users' Data

The world’s most dominant social media website, Facebook has again come in limelight over its  deals between Facebook and device makers that allowed about 60 device makers to access personal information of users and their friends

Over the last decade, long before Facebook apps were popular,  the company had data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Samsung.

According to Facebook officials, the company had a partnership with device manufacturers since 2007 to ensure that its services were not restricted to only users on desktop, but to everyone who uses the internet:  mobile phones, smart TVs, game consoles and other devices.

Initially, phones did not have full-fledged Facebook apps, so Facebook allowed phone manufacturers to integrate some elements of the social network — “like” buttons, photo sharing, friends lists — into their devices.

"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission," Ime Archibong, Facebook's Vice President of Product Partnerships, said in a statement.

"So companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube had to work directly with an operating system and device manufacturers to get their products into people's hands," Archibong said.

"This took a lot of time -- and Facebook was not able to get to everyone. To bridge this gap, we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems," Archibong added.

However, Facebook refuted the claims of  The New York Times, said that there is no information of any kind of abuse by the partners.

"We are not aware of any abuse by these companies," Archibong said.

Moreover, Facebook said that it had already ended 22 of the device partnerships.

"Now that iOS and Android are so popular, fewer people rely on these APIs to create bespoke Facebook experiences. It's why we announced in April that we're winding down access to them. We've already ended 22 of these partnerships," Archibong said.