Facebook would secretly have gone through with selling user data to companies, after having announced that it would stop in 2015. A number of companies would have gained access via Facebook to information such as friends lists and telephone numbers.
Facebook already makes it possible for companies letting their ads focus on specially defined user groups, but the practice of giving businesses direct access to user data should have been stopped a few years ago. In a reaction Facebook slightly differentiates the story of The Wall Street Journal. Would the program to share data have indeed ended in 2015 as previously announced, but a number of companies would have asked for a short extension, including Nissan and RBC.
Also, Facebook states that under the new deals there is much less access until data was given than before. For example, personal information would not have been shared, but the list of friends was made clear as the Wall Street Journal reports. The deals with companies to extend access to personal data would have ended some years ago.
Earlier this week already revealed that Facebook has closed deals with several smartphone manufacturers for access to user data. This story was published by The New York Times, and thus closely related to the story of The Wall Street Journal about extending deals with companies to make personal data transparent. According to Facebook itself, sharing data with smartphone manufacturers would be primarily intended for setting up apps for social media.