As per the people who know in great detail about the matter, the information that some companies have been granted access to data was hidden from developers who are associated with Facebook.
A new revelation has come forward regarding Facebook and its data sharing practices with a report from The Wall Street Journal claiming that the social networking company provided select companies "customised data-sharing deals" that let them gain "special access to user records".
In the wake of secret data deals with smartphone makers, and a bug that turned private posts public for millions of users, Facebook is once again under fire: this time for the way it gave certain companies extended access to its network of information on users, through 2014 and beyond. This includes data such as phone numbers and "friend links", which measure the degree of closeness between users and their friends.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook had agreements with "a selected group of companies, some of them had special access to user information".
Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, said in a statement Friday that the deals only involved allowing users to share their friends' lists with Facebook apps, not their friends' personal information such as photos or interests.
"But other than that, things were shut down", he told the Wall Street Journal. Numerous extensions lasted weeks and months, Facebook said.
"As we were winding down over the year, there was a small number of companies that asked for short-term extensions, and that, we worked through with them". This entire episode of special access to data points at the wrong information disclosed by Facebook earlier. Still, the Journal reports that it isn't clear when the deals expired or what companies received extensions.
As Common Dreams reported on Monday, the report showing that Facebook cut deals with device-makers appeared to show that CEO Mark Zuckerberg flat-out lied to Congress when he asserted that users of the platform have "complete control" of who can and can't see their personal data. It was not yet known users in which country were affected the most. The UK-based political data firm acquired information on more than 87 million people collected without consent through a Facebook app.