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Facebook faces new regulatory backlash over data privacy

Barbara Underwood, the new attorney general in NY, said in a statement Monday that her office continues to investigate Facebook's data use after Cambridge Analytica, which includes looking "into these "data-sharing" partnerships".

The controversy over third-part companies getting access to Facebook user data doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

Before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, the company struck deals to share user data with at least 60 device manufacturers - including Apple, Amazon, and Samsung - the New York Times reported. This deal supposedly continued even after Facebook made it known it would comply with the Federal Trade Commission's consent decree, which was meant to put a stop to the gathering of data without a direct agreement between the party and the firm.

The report says that the company hasn't only been sharing user data with their device makers but also their friends', as well.

Unlike the last data scandal, which saw Facebook user data being shared with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook was quick to address the reporting.

The Times specifically takes issue with Facebook's practice of letting these device partners "override sharing restrictions".

"It's worrying that so many companies had access to this data, particularly in light of security and privacy concerns", said Michael Veale, a technology policy expert at University College London.

The partnerships themselves are no big secret - Facebook has been cultivating them for years, and they're often announced publicly, as Facebook confirmed in a blog post.

South and North Korean leaders in surprise meeting today
The leaders of the states have signed the Panmunjom Declaration for peace, prosperity and unity in the Korean Peninsula. Trump on Friday night said the historic June summit with Kim could go ahead following talks between the two countries.

Cambridge Analytica obtained the data it had without Facebook's permission and used it to help the election campaign of US President Donald Trump. The latest revelation is that Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Blackberry were just a handful of more than 60 device makers given "deep access" to user data ...

This was tightly regulated with "signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", according to Archibong, and had to be approved by Facebook to prevent any misuse.

"Consumers have the right to know how their personal information is being used; and the companies we trust with our information have a critical responsibility to protect it", she added.

However, Facebook blasted back at the Times report, saying the newspaper has misinterpreted the objective and function of its so-called "device-integrated APIs" - the software that allows hardware companies to bridge into Facebook's database to offer versions of the app on their operating systems.

The social network added that it was not aware of there being any abuse of the shared data.

According to Archibong, 22 of the partnerships have already ended.

While Facebook says these agreements were important and that it had tight control over these partnerships from the get-go, even company employees weren't happy allowing outside companies to access their users' data.

A former Facebook employee who led third-party ad and privacy compliance, Sandy Parakilas, noted that the program was controversial even within Facebook. Usually collected when users log into their accounts through the Facebook app.

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