Music streaming app Saavn and telecom firm Airtel are among the dozens of companies that received either a special, one-time exemption from Facebook after it cut off access to user data in 2015 or signed data sharing agreements with the social networking giant as part of an integration partnership. In written responses to the US Congress on its operations, the social network revealed it granted numerous extensions to access a user's public profile as well as some data from their friends.
It contradicts the company's previous statements that data sharing had been closed down in 2014. Facebook said in the disclosure that the special deals were required to give app developers time to become compliant with changes in its policies and to enable device and software makers to create a version of the social network for their products.
Some of the partnership had already been uncovered, with the revelation last month of agreements with Apple, Amazon, Samsung and other device manufacturers. Facebook later admitted to partnership with companies like Oppo, Lenovo, others as well, but said these were all tightly controlled and there was no misuse of data.
These hitherto unreported deals with app developers and software makers represent what analysts and media reports are calling the most granular explanation of exemptions that Facebook gave companies with regard to accessing user data. Facebook introduced stricter guidelines for third-party apps in April 2014 and gave businesses a year to transition to the new rules before forcing compliance- except for the 61 firms named in the documents, 60 of which received a six-month extension.
The dating app Hinge, alongside corporations including AOL, Oracle, Nisan, Panasonic and Snap were among those to receive the extended access. The company disclosed it was still sharing information of users' friends, such as name, gender, birth date, current city or hometown, photos and pages likes, with 61 app developers nearly six months after it said it stopped access to this data in 2015.
In a statement, Airtel said, “The matter pertains to the year 2010 when Airtel was granted access to data by Facebook as an App developer. The project ended in 2013 and so did the access to the data. We confirm that the data was used only for our internal purposes. We take data privacy extremely seriously and follow a zero-tolerance policy on the same.”
Saavn is part of a group of 61 companies that were given a temporary exemption to a block on apps accessing details about user's friends. Facebook has been under intense scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and has been pressured to release more details on its business practices.
Mark Zuckerberg, the social media company's founder and chief executive, previously accepted responsibility for the breach ahead of a Congressional hearing.
Facebook likewise included that the organization will close down an extra seven associations before the finish of July 2018, and another before the finish of October 2018. Be that as it may, the association with Apple will proceed past October 2018.
Apple has denied that it any point got any information from Facebook. Beforehand Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the organization got zero information from Facebook.
Facebook will likewise proceed partnerships with Mozilla, Alibaba, Opera, which will give clients a chance to get warnings from the informal community in their Internet browsers. It guarantees these organizations won't gain admittance to information from user's friends by means of these mixes.
Prominent names on the list are Acer, Alibaba, Amazon, Alcatel/TCL, Apple, AT&T, BlackBerry, Dell, Garmin, HP/Palm, HTC, Kodak, LG, MediaTek, Motorola/Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, T-Mobile, Sprint, Qualcomm, Vodafone, Yahoo, etc. More importantly, Facebook’s document notes, “It is possible we have not been able to identify some integrations, particularly those made during the early days of our company when our records were not centralized. It is also possible that early records may have been deleted from our system.”