Facebook admits to improperly giving user data to third-party developers, again

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Stop us if you've heard this one before: Facebook gave user data to third-party developers, even after specifically telling users it wouldn't. In a blog post last week, Facebook announced that (oops!) thousands of developers continued to receive updates to users' non-public information well past the point when they should have. Specifically, Facebook said that, for an unspecified number of users, it failed to cut off the data spigot – like it promised it would back in 2018 – 90 days after a person had last used an app. Facebook's blog post does provide some – albeit limited – insight into the privacy mishap, however. The company writes that the user info in question possibly involved email addresses, birthdays, language, and gender, and was sent to around 5,000 apps past the 90-day threshold. "[Recently], we discovered that in some instances apps continued to receive the data that people had previously authorised, even if it appeared they hadn’t used the app in the last 90 days," writes Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook's vice president of platform partnerships, in the blog post. "For example, this could happen if someone used a fitness app to invite their friends from their hometown to a workout, but we didn’t recognise that some of their friends had been inactive for many months."

Twitter and Facebook tell Hong Kong authorities to get bent (for now)

Oh hey would you look at that: Twitter and Facebook just did something good. The two tech giants took a stand, albeit a temporary one, for their Hong Kong users following the passage of a new restrictive national security law last week. Both companies confirmed to Mashable that, for the time being, they have stopped responding to data requests from Hong Kong law enforcement as they evaluate the law. A main point of concern is that the measure, which human rights activists worry is designed to curtail freedom of speech in Hong Kong, was both rushed in its passage and allows for lifelong prison sentences for poorly defined offenses. Facebook, for its part, is taking a similar approach. Twitter, as a policy, discloses requests made by governments for user data in its biannual transparency report. Facebook also publishes a list of government requests for user data in its transparency report. In the second half of 2019, for example, Facebook said it produced at least some data for 74.4 per cent of the 140,875 requests it received. According to that report, 0 per cent of China's requests for user data was fulfilled by Facebook during that same period of time.