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Facebook gave some developers access to users' friends after policy changed

11 June 2018

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Facebook reached deals with Royal Bank of Canada, Nissan Motor Company and other organizations that advertised on Facebook.

There are two scenarios in which Facebook works more closely with developers and partners, the spokesperson said: First, when the company is depecrating APIs, some developers need more time to work through the changes - Facebook gave RBC extended access to user data for this reason.

One source said to be a former Facebook employee claimed, "Ninety-nine percent of developers were treated the same, but 1% got special treatment because they accounted for all the value of the platform". The information handed over to companies included details like phone numbers and a metric called "friend link" that determined how much communication and connectivity there was between users and their friends.

However, it is unclear how many companies agreed to the whitelists and for exactly how long.

He acknowledged that a subset of companies were given extensions beyond May 2015. "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", Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships told WSJ.

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According to the report, Facebook reached agreements with a number of major corporations to provide data about the friends of its users.

"But other than that, things were shut down", he said.

Earlier this week, an extensive report in The New York Times said Facebook shared large amounts of data with Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and BlackBerry. Since April 25, Facebook has run a national marketing campaign, including television spots that have aired during the NBA Finals, in an attempt to improve the company's image and its "commitment to doing better".

That didn't stop Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan from stealing data from 87 million users through a personality quiz app and sharing it with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook, in a blog post, pushed back on the Times' reporting, saying the agreements prevented user data from being used other than "to recreate Facebook-like experiences" in the devices.

Facebook gave some developers access to users' friends after policy changed