Data privacy has been one of the primary concerns of social media users since the advent of not just Facebook, but also user-driven endeavors such as targeted advertisements. Unfortunately, it appears Facebook will take yet another blow on the matter as it’s been discovered that app developers still have access to user data even after 2015 – bad news, indeed, for those who think the social media network have had a change of heart on the matter.
The realization that Facebook application developers still have access to user data after 2015 can be quite the alarming thing. This is because Facebook promised that the data-scraping days of application have been over in 2015, but it appears this isn’t exactly game over for this problem just yet.
It can be remembered that back in 2015, Facebook has promised to change its policies that allowed developers of application to access the data of the friends of app users. These included developers such as Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher affiliated with Cambridge Analytica. It’s exactly this tactic that allowed Kogan to gather data from as much as 87-million users on Facebook, which he then was able to sell to Cambridge Analytica.
Now it appears Facebook isn’t telling the full story. The United States House of Representatives has received a document from Facebook that revealed that as much as 61 application developers actually still have access to data of their users’ friends for almost six (6) months after the change on the policies. Facebook said it allowed these companies to have an extension in order for them to get the time to fully comply with the new policy changes.
Folks from the media have spotted this little detail while sifting through the 747-page document. This document has Facebook answering questions that Mark Zuckerberg initially promised Congress that he and his team would look into during the hearings before both houses of Congress last April.
In fact, it’s interesting to point out that not just developers, but entire companies were actually given access to the data of app users’ friends even beyond the cut-off point in 2015. This is part of something called “whitelists,” which is an advertising-related partnership agreement.
While six (6) months seems to be a long time, being able to gather user data from that span a time can have such a huge impact over any business or industry. When Kogan was able to tap into 270,000 users of his app, he was able to get the data of as much as 87-million people. This means collecting data at any short amount of time can still be a huge dump of information on a wide scale.
This adds another portion of fuel to the fire against Facebook, especially when it was previously discovered that Facebook was actually sharing data of its users with makers of devices.
You May Also Like: