Facebook shared user profile data with select companies

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Under that disclosure, Facebook said it had some deals in place with a small number of entities through which users' friends data was accessible, but the company said it stopped providing access to it in 2015.

As the Wall Street Journal first reported, certain companies were, for a time, granted access to data about users, as well as data about those users' friends.

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.

Facebook shared personal information culled from its users' profiles with other companies after the date when executives have said the social network prevented third-party developers from gaining access to the data.

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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.

Facebook, in particular, allowed them to receive information about users' phones, as well as statistics, from which it was possible to determine how close their relationships with each other were. Numerous extensions lasted weeks and months, Facebook said.

The company said the extensions lasted several weeks and months. "But other than that, things were shut down", Archibong said. In April, Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress after Facebook disclosed, following news reports, that as many as 87 million users' data was sold to a political ad targeting firm during the 2016 USA presidential election without the users' consent.

Facebook is facing intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users' data after the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. 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". The move coaxed more people to join Facebook and spend more time there, fueling the rapid rise of the social network from 58 million users to more than 2 billion. These companies were effectively whitelisted to use that data.