Facebook has admitted providing dozens of tech companies with special access to user data after publicly saying it restricted such access in 2015.
Facebook continued sharing information with 61 hardware and software makers after it said it discontinued the practice in May 2015, the social networking giant acknowledged in 747 pages of documents delivered to Congress late Friday. The documents were in response to hundreds of questions posed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by members of Congress in April.
“We engaged companies to build integrations for a variety of devices, operating systems and other products where we and our partners wanted to offer people a way to receive Facebook or Facebook experiences,” the company said in the documents. “These integrations were built by our partners, for our users, but approved by Facebook.”
Facebook’s documents also said it had discovered that five other companies “theoretically could have accessed limited friends’ data” as a result of a beta test.
Facebook said in the documents it has ended 38 of the partnerships and plans to discontinue seven more by the end of July.
he disclosure was part of Facebook’s second attempt to address questions posed to Zuckerberg in April by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In June, the social networkto some of the committee’s questions, many of which Zuckerberg responded to during that hearing by saying he’d have his team “get back to” lawmakers with answers.
Zuckerberg’s testimony before both the Senate and House in April came as the social network deal with a a backlash that raised questions about whether Facebook can be trusted to protect the personal information of its 2 billion users., a digital consultancy that had ties to the Trump presidential campaign. Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users, prompting
The company has also been in the hot seat for not doing enough to prevent abuse from Russian trolls that posted misinformation and divisive content on the platform. The Russian activity was part of a program to meddle in the US presidential election and sow discord among voters.
Lawmakers in particular raised concerns over, particularly with Huawei, a company perennially in the crosshairs of the US government for security reasons.