Archibong said the data was only shared with device makers in order to improve Facebook users' access to the information. In exchange, Facebook gave them nearly unrestricted access to users' data as well as their friends'.
The New York Times reported the social media giant had data sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers, including Apple, Amazon, Blackberry and Samsung, with many of these agreements still continuing.
While the device partnerships allowed Facebook to expand its reach, it let the phone makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, "like" buttons and address books.
And such reports are not something the company welcome following the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, which involved a misuse of Facebook's data policies by the political strategy company and a failure by Facebook to properly stop such a thing from happening. Instead saying that they are more like service providers; with the service being that user data is being stored on their servers.
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This would mean that the likes of Apple and Samsung have had potential access to user data for some time.
Facebook defended the practices as compliant with the Federal Trade Commission's standards, and told the NYT that its contracts limited how device-makers could use the data.
Archibong insists that Facebook controlled its device-connected APIs tightly.
Archibong claims that, contrary to the New York Times report, friends' info, like photos, couldn't be accessed on other people's devices unless those friends chose to share their info.
There's a lot of background on Facebook's handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and there are predictable comments from Facebook's most frequent critics.
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The data sharing was reportedly an issue as early as 2012.
The senators also want Zuckerberg to answer how Facebook verifies that its data partners aren't abusing that information, as well as what other manufacturers the social network partnered with. The politicians didn't confine their inquiry to device sharing, either - they wanted to know what other data sharing methods Facebook had.
To test how much access was granted to a device, the Times says that when it recently had a reporter log into his Facebook account on a Blackberry from 2013 (when the company still used its proprietary operating system), the device retrieved personal information about the reporter's 500 friends. Regardless of whether or not Facebook broke any FTC rules or violated its 2011 consent decree, the fact remains that its user information has spread far beyond any boundaries the company can control.
"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission".
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Chinese telecommunications companies have come under scrutiny from US intelligence officials who argue they provide an opportunity for foreign espionage and threaten critical USA infrastructure, something the Chinese have consistently denied.