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Facebook denied any wrongdoing in a statement posted on its website in response to The New York Times story that revealed the existence of data-sharing agreements with numerous companies.

"Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have "complete control" over who sees our data on Facebook", he tweeted.

A report from The New York Times has accused Facebook of sharing your personal data with OEMs such as Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Samsung.

Firstly, it may violate the "consent decree" deal that Facebook struck with the FTC in 2011.

Instead of just allowing the social network to access data on internet users, a pop-up will appear in Safari asking, "Do you want to allow Facebook.com to use cookies and available data while browsing?"

"Data companies are clever and relentless", Federighi said.

Facebook is under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators and users around the world over its handling of users' data and the steps it takes to protect their privacy.

"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.

Moreover, he added, "We are not aware of any abuse by these companies".

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

However, the deals are still in place, and the companies could - in theory - access your and your friends' data in ways that most any person would consider violations of privacy.

Facebook defended the practices as compliant with the Federal Trade Commission's standards, and told the NYT that its contracts limited how device-makers could use the data. Facebook acknowledged that over the years device makers like Apple, Samsung and Blackberry were able to build versions of the social network for their mobile devices.

The Times did manage to demonstrate how a private API could grant a phone maker access to Facebook users, showing that a custom smartphone app could get the "relationship status, religious and political leanings" of more than 500 of a user's Facebook friends, and get "unique identifiers" on almost 300,000 friends of those friends.

Kogan developed an app that required people to sign in using their Facebook accounts - and that then harvested data about those users and their friends, that was then used by Cambridge Analytica to develop psychological profiles of USA voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Archibong said these cases were "very different" from the use of data by third-party developers in the Cambridge Analytica case.

The example used? You better believe it was Facebook.

Zuckerberg was adamant before Congress that Facebook is seriously committed to users' privacy.

Speaking at the tech giant's Worldwide Developer's Conference overnight, software engineering senior vice-president Craig Federighi said users would benefit from improved privacy features when iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave are released later this year.


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