Facebook has rejected claims by the New York Times that its sharing of personal data with smartphone firms represented a breach of privacy pledges that it had made to its members and a US regulator.
The newspaper reported the social network had given at least 60 device-makers access to users’ friends’ data without obtaining explicit consent.
It added that in some cases the details were stored on the firms’ own servers.
But Facebook said that this was only done to help offer a mobile service.
And it has said the circumstances were “very different” from those involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which user data was used for different purposes.
Even so, the NYT raised concern that people’s information – including users’ relationship status, religion, political leaning and planned events – had been shared with other businesses.
It suggested the practice meant the Silicon Valley firm might have breached an agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011 to get consumers’ “express consent” before sharing personal data with third parties in new ways.
Furthermore, it quoted an ex-FTC official saying that Facebook’s behaviour was at odds with privacy commitments it had made to the public in 2014.