According to Facebook, they claimed that they had cut off developer access to data of users and their friends in 2015 following the discovery that Cambridge Analytica had abused its access. However in a new report from The Wall Street Journal, it seems that Facebook was still allowing some companies to continue to access user data and those of their friends.
The report claims that Facebook had entered into “special deals” with a handful of companies that allowed these companies to continue access user data well past 2015. These were supposedly companies that were under Facebook’s “whitelist”, which allowed them to see user data such as phone numbers and even how close users were to each other.
These deals are also said to be separate from those struck up with 60 or so device makers, which was revealed earlier this week. The report also revealed some of the companies that were part of this whitelist, which for the most part appeared to be huge companies that were either advertisers or Facebook partners, such as Nissan and RBC Capital Markets.
According to Facebook, they told The Wall Street Journal that this access was given to improve user experiences, test new features, and for companies to finish up ongoing tests. They also confirmed that this went past the 2015 cutoff date for weeks and months.