Facebook has said that some of the device partners store Facebook users’ — and their friends’ — data on their own servers. But Facebook has also said that regardless of where the information is stored, its partners are bound by strict contracts regarding the use of the data. But that doesn’t mean the data is necessarily safe. One of the lessons of the Cambridge Analytica scandal is just how hard it is to control what happens to user data once it has left Facebook’s system.
Facebook also said that it periodically audits partners’ use of the data. Some partners store Facebook data on their own servers, while others have said that the data is sent directly to each device. But Facebook, as well as some device partners contacted by The Times, acknowledged that there are several ways Facebook information could leave those devices, including when a device backs up its own data to cloud services or syncs with third-party apps.
A third-party app is any app that is not made by the device maker itself: Think games, messaging or banking apps. Every time a newly downloaded game or other app requests access to your address book, information in the address book can be shared.
David Lindsay: This is complicated. It does make sense that your Facebook experience should be allowed to happen across various types of hardware and platforms.
But my first take away is, do not ever share your address book with anyone, especially Facebook. Add your friends the old fashioned way, one friend at a time.