The government today sought an explanation from Facebook by June 20. It asks FB on sharing of user data with mobile device makers. California headquartered social networking company has been given time till June 20 to respond to the fresh letter by the government. Facebook shares data with at least 60 different device manufacturers, including companies such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, and Blackberry.
The statement said the recent reports claiming that Facebook has agreements, which allow phone and other device manufacturers to access its users’ personal information, including that of their friends without taking their explicit consent.
“The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has sought an explanation from FB seeking a detailed factual report on the issue,” an official statement said. The Government of India is deeply concerned about reports of such lapses/ violations, the statement added.
In the early days of mobile, the demand for FB outpaced our ability to build versions of the product that worked on every phone or operating system. It’s hard to remember now but back then there were no app stores. “To bridge this gap, we built a set of device-integrated APIs that allowed companies to recreate Facebook-like experiences for their individual devices or operating systems. Over the last decade, around 60 companies have used them — including many household names such as Amazon, Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Microsoft and Samsung,” the blog post authored by Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice-president of product partnerships, said.
The government of India added in its statement that in response to earlier notices about breaches of personal data relating to the Cambridge Analytica episode, Facebook had apologised and given strong assurances to the Government of India that they would take sincere efforts to protect the privacy of users’ data on the platform.
However, such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook. Therefore, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has sought an explanation from Facebook seeking a detailed factual report on the issue.