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Facebook ends Sony, Microsoft access to friends data under FTC deal

The company says there will be a "fundamental shift" in how it works.

Facebook says it will change how it handles user data. 
James Martin / CNET

Facebook was hit with a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday. As part of its settlement with the FTC, the social network will change how it handles user data. This also means adjusting the information that its partners can access. 

Facebook said Wednesday that data integrations with partners should already have "wound down" but that it was recently alerted to a bug that allowed a dozen partners to continue to access data. Of those, Microsoft and Sony were the only two that "continued to access limited types of friends data." 

Facebook said it hasn't found evidence that any data was used in violation of its policies, but it's restricting their access "immediately." 

"This was our mistake, and we are correcting it," Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships, said in a Facebook blog post. "We will be operating under a comprehensive new framework for protecting people's privacy and the information they give us. The order requires a fundamental shift in the way we work."

A Microsoft spokesperson said it "respected all user preferences" during its work with Facebook.  

Facebook will also introduce new controls for people to manage apps they use with Facebook, reward those who tip off the company to apps misusing data and add a new review process for all new API or expansion of existing APIs. 

Along with the FTC fine, the social media platform was hit with another fine Wednesday -- this one from the Securities Exchange Commission in the amount of $100 million related to data privacy. 

Sony didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.