Yes, Facebook has admitted sharing user data again with third-party apps- by mistake. That’s one huge mistake that they have made, no doubt.
Facebook and user data scandal seems to have an everlasting relationship with one another. After trying so hard to gain back users’ trust, it has messed things up again.
The company has violated its own policy by mistakenly giving the user data access to over 5,000 unauthorized developers.
Yes, it’s a step towards trust that Facebook has admitted sharing data itself before it was exposed through another scandal.
Violates its own policy
The social media giant says it was a mistake and of course, we are wondering why a mistake with user data?
Couldn’t the lapse target something easier to understand and overlook like user interface? But no, the bug targetted user data.
They said that due to an issue with the system, data of users who have been inactive for over 90 days has been compromised.
This is a huge lapse in security and it violates Facebook’s own policy regarding user data. The company’s data policy says the following:
We don’t sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will. We also impose strict restrictions on how our partners can use and disclose the data we provide.
If this is so, then how did the lapse occur and what was it about exactly?
What was the mistake?
The mistake is rooted in the violation of its user data policy. In 2018, the company announced that it would prevent the apps using Facebook Login from acquiring the user data.
Of course, that will happen if the user has been inactive for over 90 days. Facebook Login is a feature that most of the apps use in case the user doesn’t want to make another account.
But due to some bug in the system, even the users who have been inactive on the platform for over 90 days were losing their data to the third-party developers.
About 5,000 developers continued to receive data about users who have been inactive on Facebook for over 90 days.
Facebook admitted to the lapse in a post and said that they have sorted the problem the very next day.
VP of Platform Partnerships at Facebook, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, said that 5,000 third party apps continued getting information regarding language setting or user gender.
He also said that the information-sharing was not inconsistent with the permissions people gave when they logged in using Facebook.
Facebook explained, “this could happen if someone used a fitness app to invite their friends from their hometown to a workout, but we (Facebook) didn’t recognize that some of their friends had been inactive for many months.”
Facebook has said that they fixed this issue immediately, but did not reveal how many people it affected.
This is not the first time that Facebook has compromised user data. The infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal had completely shaken user trust in the platform.
Facebook has since been trying hard to build the trust back with its users.