Facebook is facing fresh scrutiny over its data-sharing
practices following the publication of reports highlighting
how a Russian internet giant with ties to the Russian
government gained access to user data.
Tuesday, CNN and Wired
published reports exploring how Mail.Ru
built apps that were able to access Facebook user data after
the social network locked down its platform in 2015.
Facebook recently disclosed in written testimony to US
Congress that Mail.Ru had built apps that integrated with
its platform — and that it was one of a select group of app
makers that was given an extension beyond the formal 2015
to CNN and Wired, Mail.Ru was granted an extra two weeks of
access to this user data. Facebook did not immediately
respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
parent company was founded by Alisher Usmanov, a Russian
businessman with links to the Kremlin. As such, Mail.Ru's
activity on the platform has raised some eyebrows, and
prompted calls for more information: The Russian government
infamously used Facebook to sow disinformation and
propaganda during the 2016 US presidential election.
more, a former Mail.Ru CEO and Chairman, Yuri Milner, i nvested
$200 million for a 2% stake Facebook in 2009 through
his firm Digital Sky Technologies, and another few
hundred million dollars in the
following years. Milner, who stepped down as Mail.Ru
Chairman in 2012, has since sold its stake in Facebook, CNN
a statement given to CNN, Democratic senator Mark Warner
called for more information: "In the last 6 months we've
learned that Facebook had few controls in place to control
the collection and use of user data by third parties.
we learn that the largest technology company in Russia,
whose executives boast close ties to Vladimir Putin, had
potentially hundreds of apps integrated with Facebook,
collecting user data. If this is accurate, we need to
determine what user information was shared with mail.ru and
what may have been done with the captured data."