Facebook has been collecting phone numbers and contacts from Android devices

Tuesday, 27 Mar, 2018

The findings follow days of allegations that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data on millions of Facebook users without permission for political campaigning.

In 2007, Facebook launched a new platform that allowed people to log into apps and share a part of their own profiles and the identity of their friends.

Mr Zuckerberg said he expects there are other companies alongside Cambridge Analytica which may have abused their access to large amounts of Facebook user data.

The company also faces rising discontent from advertisers and users. This meant apps could no longer ask for data about a person's friends unless they had also authorized the app. "People can delete previously uploaded information at any time and can (later) find all the information available to them in their account and activity log from our Download Your Information tool", the statement adds.

Facebook is required by law to obtain permissiom from users before their data is shared with third parties outside their privacy settings. He outlined steps to protect user data and said companies have a responsibility to act. "If we can't, we don't deserve it", said the advertisement, which appeared in plain text on a white background with a tiny Facebook logo.

Facebook's track record on privacy and policing its network is mixed, at best.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he's invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify at a hearing next month on data privacy. Now, developers will only receive a user's name, profile photo, and email address when someone signs in through Facebook. Instead, the social network created a page called Fact Check: Your Call and SMS History, which explains how and why this data is being collected.

Before Android 4.1 (a.k.a. Jelly Bean), which was released in 2012, when an Android user gave Facebook access to phone contacts, Facebook also got access to actual call and text data by default.

Shares of Facebook FB fell more than 5 percent Monday after the FTC confirmed it's investigating the company's data practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica breach. A spokeswoman told the Associated Press Facebook uses the information to rank Messenger contacts so they are easier to find, and to suggest people to call.

According to the ads, a quiz app built by a Cambridge University researcher leaked Facebook data of millions of people four years ago.

I've just looked at the data files I requested from Facebook and they had every single phone number in my contacts.

Facebook is now facing investigations, probes and hearings from authorities in the USA, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada, while some of its major advertising clients are considering to stop placing ads on the social network.