Facebook shared user information with 52 companies

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At the end of June, the social media giant, Facebook Inc., told the U.S. Congress that it shared user information with approximately 52 software and hardware making companies, including some China-based makers, under agreements designed to make the social networking site work more effectively on smartphones and other devices.

User information: to whom?

The acknowledgment, which has information about Facebook’s sharing data with tech companies long after it stopped sharing with most app makers, came in more than 700 pages of replies to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The document says that some of Facebook’s partnerships continued into this year, and still others continue to this day. Overall, three partnerships are due to continue, according to the social network. Apple has an agreement that extends past October, while the Swedish tech company Tobii requires its partnership in order to make Facebook accessible to ALS patients through its app.

Facebook said that it engaged companies to build integrations for different kinds of devices, operating systems and other products through which it and its partners could offer users a way to use Facebook or transmit Facebook experiences.

The list of these partners includes major US-based tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung, as well as Chinese companies like Alibaba Lenovo, Oppo and Huawei. Facebook said that it has ended 38 of the 52 partnerships and is planning to end seven more soon.

Facebook gave special extensions to selected apps

The social network said that it gave 61 apps, including music streaming giant Spotify and dating services like Hinge, special extensions of about six months to comply with new rules which require third party developers to stop collecting user information.

Several questions remain unanswered, including why Facebook didn’t audit all applications, how many users really accessed or read its ‘terms of use’ policies, and the like.


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