San Francisco: The Russian Internet giant Mail.ru. was among the dozens of companies that received a special extension from Facebook to comply with a rule that it put in place to prevent third party apps from collecting data on their users’ friends, the media reported.
The two-week extension given to Mail.ru. may raise more than a few eyebrows in Washington in view of allegations of Russian meddling in 2016 US presidential election through manipulation of social networks, the WIRED reported on Tuesday.
Moreover, Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire and Mail.ru founder was also a major investor in Facebook, the report pointed out.
After the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal came into light in March this year which exposed how the British political consulting firm collected data on as many as 87 million people through a Facebook app, the social networking giant said that in 2014 it made changes to an element of its API to prevent apps from collecting data on their users’ friends.
While it announced this change in 2014, apps that already had access to people’s friends’ data continued to have access until May 2015, Facebook clarified, according to the Wired report.
However, in written responses to questions raised by Energy and Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives late last month, Facebook acknowledged that some apps had this access for up to six months longer.
The motive behind giving them the extension was to allow them to “come into compliance” with the new rules, according to Facebook.
The Russian Internet giant Mail.ru. was among these companies.