Report: Facebook shared your data with 60+ device makers, including Amazon & Apple

To ensure better data protection for consumers, most websites have updated their privacy terms in line with the European Union’s new cybersecurity law, the General Data Protection Regulation. Those changes generally mean that we have greater control over how our information is shared online.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t numerous loopholes that exist across the internet landscape. One big one was brought to light by a new report in the New York Times, which says that Facebook has been clandestinely sharing our personal information with more than 60 smartphone and tablet makers.
Facebook views these data-sharing deals as being outside the purview of its third-party app regulations, which it tightened recently. With that interpretation, the company doesn’t see the need to inform consumers that it is sharing their data with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Blackberry and Samsung, the Times reports.

Report: Facebook shared your data with device makers

“Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders,” the Times reports. “Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing.”

This potentially signals another crisis for Facebook, which has vowed to be more open in the aftermath of a data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. The allegations may also indicate that the social media site violated a 2011 Federal Trade Commission decree that barred the company from sharing people’s information without explicitly disclosing it to them.

For its part, Facebook told the Times that it has ended the majority of its data-sharing deals.

Facebook is far from alone when it comes to harvesting and sharing or selling people’s data. That’s why money expert Clark Howard says that he’s in favor of the new EU privacy law and how it holds tech companies accountable. Clark would also like people to take greater control of their online privacy and be careful about what they share.

“I want you to know that a lot of these activities we are contributing to by letting our guard down to too great a degree and sharing too much info about ourselves with people on social media,” he says. He warns that we should be particularly leery about sharing certain details.

2 Facebook privacy settings you may not know about

Facial recognition: If you don’t want Facebook to know your face, turn off facial recognition by going to Settings > General > Facial recognition. Under the question “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?“, once you toggle it off, your face will be off-limits to Facebook’s virtual ID storehouse. Just understand that Facebook also won’t alert you when someone tags you in a picture.

Ad preferences: Be mindful that advertisers know a tremendous amount about you, as well. To limit what their access, go to Settings > Ads > Your Information and toggle off any indicator (Relationship Status, Employer, Education, etc.) you don’t want advertisers to target you with. This effectively means you’ll see a lot more generic ads, but that’s kind of the point.

Here’s more from on controlling your personal info online:

Here’s how to manage your Facebook settings

Here’s how to manage your Google settings

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