Facebook opened up access to friends' data through its API in a bid to attract developers to its platform, but in 2015, it incurred those developers' wrath when it pulled the rug out from under them, killing the API calls that allowed apps to mine their users' friends' data.
Except it didn't, not really.
Even as it was publicly announcing that it had killed the friends' data feature, it was creating "whitelists" with favored companies that granted them continued access, giving them a competitive advantage over the developers that Facebook had just bait-and-switched.
Facebook downplays the arrangement. Facebook Product Partnerships VP Ime Archibong told USA Today that "In 2014, all developers were given a year to switch to the new, more restricted version of the (app programming interface). A few developers including Nissan and RBC asked for a short extension — and those extensions ended several years ago."
In addition to the "whitelists," Facebook secretly allowed dozens of hardware companies to access friend data before and after the creation of the API, while denying such access existed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited court documents, unnamed Facebook officials and other unnamed sources, Facebook made special agreements with certain companies called "whitelists," which gave them access to extra information about a user's friends. This includes data such as phone numbers and "friend links," which measure the degree of closeness between users and their friends.
Facebook gave some developers access to users' friends after policy changed [Ashley Wong/USA Today]
On Thursday, Tesla denied media reports that it fired employees who chose to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, rather than expose themselves to possible infection at Elon Musk’s California factory.
A Black man in Detroit was wrongfully arrested and detained by police who mis-identified him with a false facial recognition hit. The case of Robert Williams, an innocent person who was held in police custody for a day, is the first publicly reported case of artificial intelligence resulting in a false arrest in the United […]
Eddie Bauer, Magnolia Pictures, Ben & Jerry’s, REI, and Patagonia are some of the brands that have suspended Facebook ad campaigns over the platform’s reckless content moderation practices that allow political and COVID-19 disinformation to proliferate.
When you sit down to play a new AAA video game like The Last of Us 2, you probably assume it was created by gaming experts with insane levels of artistic and technical talent. And…you’d be right. Top developers are craftsmen of the highest order, pouring literally thousands of man-hours into creating the greatest gaming […]
Earlier this year, we learned that Python had finally accomplished a feat other programming languages had failed for decades, to surpass Java as the second most-used coding language in the world. For its versatility and ease of use alone, its ascent among programmers isn’t hugely surprising. Then when you factor in its key role in […]
What’s your biggest gripe about power strips? Since most power servers like that are pretty standard these days, your beef probably isn’t about performance or connectivity. No, the biggest rap on trying to use many power strips is the curious engineering decision that often leaves multiple oddly shaped plugs and charging units unable to all […]