But the USA company contends those pacts were meant to help device makers create their own versions of Facebook apps, and the data mostly remained on phones that accessed it. According to The New York Times report, Facebook entered into a partnership with dozens of device makers to make its social experience available on those phones.
The Cambridge Analytica controversy, which first came to light in March, led to huge scrutiny for Facebook, numerous changes to its privacy practices, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing before lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Not that this is likely to satisfy Blumenthal and Markey - there's no guarantee they'll take action, but they clearly want more explicit promises of privacy than Facebook has offered so far.
Apple said that it had previously used the software interfaces to allow iPhone users to do things like post photos to Facebook without opening the app, but that its device access was terminated in September.
The latest claims may only add fuel to the fire of existing investigations into Facebook at the state and federal level, including a Federal Trade Commission probe into the company's data practices.
These partnerships work very differently from the way in which app developers use our platform.The New York Times says that it discovered that the manufacturers were able to access data from members' friends even if they had specifically banned Facebook from using their data.
Lax policies around sharing data with third parties led to the leak of information to consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on successful Republican campaigns, including that of President Donald Trump.
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Bush's administration and has been an occasional Trump adviser, also took exception, tweeting: "This certainly was a no-no". Washington has long tried to prevent market-moving data like the employment numbers from being prematurely released.
The data included information such as relationship status, religion, political affiliation and planned events.
Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, said in a statement that The Times's reporting "raises important questions about transparency and potential privacy risks for Facebook users".
The agreements required the third-party companies to use the information only for the intended goal of integrating features into users' devices, Facebook says.
Facebook insists that it has already discontinued 22 of the more than 60 data sharing partnerships.
8/ This wasn't a small misstatement - the crux of Facebook's argument was that they fixed the friend permission problem in 2014.
'To bridge this gap, we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems'.