Another privacy leaked with Facebook. India’s biggest phone company Bharti and one of the most famous music streaming app Saavn were among select partners that received special exemptions from Facebook to obtain user data even after it discontinued access in 2015.
Social media giant disclosed to the US Congress last week. The company disclosed the existence of two groups of deals, each with separate permissions and restrictions.
These firms were allowed access to data following Facebook’s partnerships with app developers and software makers to integrate “Facebook and Facebook features” onto those companies’ devices and products.
Saavn is part of a group of 61 companies that were given a temporary exemption to a block on apps accessing details about users’ friends.
The other companies include Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, and Blackberry. Bharti Airtel said its access to the data ended in 2013.
Facebook told Congress in its submission that it was still sharing information of users’ friends with Saavn and 60 other app developers. Saavn and others were given “less than six months beyond May 2015 to come into compliance”.
“Such access to information about an app user’s friends required not only the consent of the app user but also required that the friends whose data would be accessed have their own privacy settings set to permit such access by third-party apps,” Facebook said.
On Tuesday, Facebook said it didn’t have more details to share. Bharti Airtel said that it values the privacy of users and has used such data only for internal purposes.
“The matter pertains to the year 2010 when Airtel was granted access to data by Facebook as an app developer,” a Bharti Airtel spokesperson said. “The project ended in 2013 and so did the access to the data. We confirm that the data was used only for our internal purposes. We take data privacy extremely seriously and follow a zero-tolerance policy on the same.”
“If we identify misuses of data, we’ll take immediate action, including banning the app from our platform and pursuing legal action if appropriate,” it told Congress.