Facebook fires back at New York Times over mobile phone privacy

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(Courtesy of Facebook)

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress, any headline containing "privacy" and "Facebook" now seems guaranteed to produce to clicks and interest and outrage.

"I think there are a lot of concerns to be had about Facebook," Tom's Guide security editor Paul Wagenseil said. "This is not one of them."

Wagenseil explained that Facebook's decade-old partnerships with phone and tablet makers, such as Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, and Microsoft, detailed in Sunday's New York Times, originated in the time before smartphones, before an app store, when every phone needed to design its own custom Facebook interface to allow users to log on.

"For example, Apple had one where you could actually post photos you'd taken with your iPhone or your iPad to Facebook without opening the Facebook app," Wagenseil said.

In a blog post responding to the Times piece, Facebook admitted it shared user data with phone and tablet makers but disputes what and how much data was shared. Facebook said it was unaware of any abuses of this data on the part of the phone makers.

"It's really kind of doing damage control," Wagenseil said.

The social network admitted it only started dismantling these agreements this April following the disclosure of the Cambridge Analytica partnership.