- Facebook told US lawmakers that while it imposed new data-sharing restrictions on most app developers in May 2015, 61 companies received a special “one-time” extension.
- The list of companies includes Nike, Spotify, and UPS. It is unclear why these companies received the extension.
- In addition, Facebook found five companies that theoretically could have accessed restricted friends’ data as a result of beta tests.
- The revelation comes after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the data of up to 87 million Facebook users was compromised.
Facebook has confessed to breaking its own rules to give 61 companies special access to user data.
In a 747-page document handed to the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, Facebook said app developers could request Facebook data including name, gender, birthdate, location, photos, and page likes.
In April 2014, Facebook introduced a new, more restricted API, or application program interface, requiring that new apps go through a review-and-approval process and preventing new apps from accessing friends’ data without review. It also gave users more granular controls over the data an app operating on the new platform could access.
Most existing apps on the platform had until May 2015 to comply with these changes before being migrated to the new API and becoming subject to the new review-and-approval process. But 61 companies were given an extension of “less than six months” after the May deadline to come into compliance.
Here is the full list of firms given special treatment:
- ABCSocial, ABC Television Network
- Anschutz Entertainment Group
- Arktan / Janrain
- Cerulean Studios
- Coffee Meets Bagel
- Double Down Interactive
- Flowics, Zauber Labs
- Global Relay Communications
- Hearsay Systems
- HiQ International AB
- Krush Technologies
- LiveFyre / Adobe Systems
- Monterosa Productions Limited
- never.no AS
- Nissan Motor Co. / Airbiquity Inc.
- Postano, TigerLogic Corporation
- RealNetworks, Inc.
- RegED / Stoneriver RegED
- SeaChange International
- Serotek Corp.
- Shape Services
- Social SafeGuard
- Socialeyes LLC
- Socialware / Proofpoint
- Sprinklr / Sprinklr Japan
- Storyful Limited / News Corp
- Tradable Bits, TradableBits Media Inc.
- Vizrt Group AS
Serotek, an accessibility app for blind and visually impaired people, received an eight-month extension.
It is not clear in the document exactly why these companies received extra time to adapt to the new restrictions. Business Insider has contacted Facebook for comment.
Facebook also acknowledged that it discovered five companies could have theoretically gained access to restricted friends’ data as the result of a beta test. Those identified were:
- Activision / Bizarre Creations
- Golden Union Co.
- IQ Zone / PicDial