For the second time in six months, a New York Times investigative report lumps the one tech giant that isn’t built on monetizing user data with the giants that are.
In June, Apple appeared in the subhed:
The company formed data-sharing partnerships with Apple, Samsung and dozens of other device makers, raising new concerns about its privacy protections
But in its reporting, the Times provided no evidence of Apple abuse:
In interviews with The Times, Facebook identified other partners: Apple and Samsung, the world’s two biggest smartphone makers, and Amazon, which sells tablets.
An Apple spokesman said the company relied on private access to Facebook data for features that enabled users to post photos to the social network without opening the Facebook app, among other things. Apple said its phones no longer had such access to Facebook as of last September.
Samsung declined to respond to questions about whether it had any data-sharing partnerships with Facebook. Amazon also declined to respond to questions.
Today’s front-page story, As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants, uses the June story to justify taking a second look at Apple:
Facebook’s internal records also revealed more about the extent of sharing deals with over 60 makers of smartphones, tablets and other devices, agreements first reported by The Times in June. [see above]
Facebook empowered Apple to hide from Facebook users all indicators that its devices were asking for data. Apple devices also had access to the contact numbers and calendar entries of people who had changed their account settings to disable all sharing, the records show.
Apple officials said they were not aware that Facebook had granted its devices any special access. They added that any shared data remained on the devices and was not available to anyone other than the users.
My take: This stuff must drive Apple PR crazy.