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The company apparently provides user data to device manufacturers; allowing them to access not only the data of those logged into smartphones, but also that of their friends as well.

These revelations potentially contravene a settlement Facebook made with the FTC in 2011, in which the company was required to ensure it obtained consent from users if their data was shared beyond their chosen privacy settings.

"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission", Ime Archibong, Facebook's VP of product partnerships, wrote in a blog post.

Head of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee John Thune said in a statement to Reuters on Monday that the committee had sent a letter seeking additional information from Facebook about its data collection practices in the wake of a report published by The New York Times on Sunday.

The post goes on to say that the partners signed agreements that prevented people's information from being used for any other goal than to recreated Facebook-like experiences, which had to be approved by Facebook's engineering teams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, this practice no longer occurs, but still involves many companies besides Facebook in an insider trading business that users were never aware of.

Facebook and other internet companies are grappling with a global backlash over the extent to which they hoover up and handle user data.

Pakistan again proves it can't be trusted: BSF IG
The casualty figure along the Line of Control has gone up to 46 in the state. It is not the first time that Pakistan has gone back on its word.

The social media leader said it "disagreed" with the conclusions of the New York Times report.

"This was flagged internally as a privacy issue", said Ms Parakilas, who left Facebook that year and has recently emerged as a harsh critic of the company. Facebook says that this is okay because even though it stopped providing this information to third parties in 2015, it doesn't consider BlackBerry to be a third party because of the partnership that it and other device makers have with Facebook.

The Times says that Facebook set up data-sharing agreements with at least 60 device-makers such as Apple, BlackBerry, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung over the last 10 years.

The company says that with iOS and Android now so dominant, it has now ended access by 22 device makers, and started limiting the power of them in April.

The APIs now in question, according to Archibong, are very different from those used by Cambridge Analytica. A new report has revealed that Facebook may have given partners such as Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft, and BlackBerry far too much access not just to Facebook users' data but even those of their friends as well. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from Threatpost.

This is but another skeleton out of Facebook's closet, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw founder Mark Zuckerberg in front of the US Congress. For instance, when people visit websites that use Facebook-developed code to link back to the social media website, Facebook collects data on every visitor, like their IP address.

Among other controls, Archibong insists that Facebook made partners sign agreements that prevented user information from being exploited.