The New York Times, yesterday, June 3, came up with an article on their website regarding Facebook providing deep access to a minimum of 60 device makers on user data a decade ago as one of its initial marketing strategies and did not go for having user consent. Facebook didn’t waste a day returning with its alibis via a blog post on its Newsroom.
According to the newspaper, 10 years ago, when there was no hype on apps and smartphones like today, Facebook made agreements with device makers regarding allowing access to users’ personal information. The likes of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Blackberry, HTC, and Amazon are among the list of these device makers.
While Facebook’s the-then intention is understandable and evident in its present global position, the newspaper has raised concerns about the privacy policies of the social media giant for obvious reasons that Facebook shared data of users and friends without explicit consent.
The NYT further found out, “Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing!” The report also includes Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and other company executives appearing at hearings and in recent interviews.
Immediately responding to the claims, Facebook said that it agrees with many of NYT’s past concerns but has chosen to disagree with the issues regarding device-integrated APIs.
It clarifies that its increasing demand back in those days wasn’t to be fulfilled within the expected time, as “there were no app stores.” For a solution, it developed a series of such APIs that’d allow the device makers “recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems.”
As the Newsroom blog reads, Facebook’s agreements with the other companies were created on the common interest that the platform can be used by people irrespective of the type of device or OS. Contradicting the newspaper, the social media company says that any kind of data shared was based on the respective user’s decision.
It adds that there was no report of any abuse by the partnered companies. Rather, the information shared has helped third-party developers to create and provide their own original social media experiences for the users. This practically opened spaces for competition for Facebook, yet the company has prevailed as the giant.
And why not, being a pioneer of the modern-day social media styles, forcing Google to scrap Orkut in 2014 that was popular among young users globally before and during the birth of the giant!
Now, the fact that there’s no abuse reported by the companies adding to Facebook’s fast growth of popularity over the decade, only directs towards the establishment of trustworthiness, despite the company ascendingly being under the radar of criticism in recent times.