Attorney General Karl Racine said company's practices exposed 340,000 District residents - almost half of D.C.'s population - to potential "manipulation for political purposes". The suit alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed to properly monitor third-party apps. "Partnerships are one area of focus and, as we've said, we're winding down the integration partnerships that were built to help people access Facebook", he said.
Antonio Garcia Martinez, a former Facebook employee and author, also suggested that most of the partnerships were part of ordinary "data sharing" and had little "actual impact" on users' privacy.
The records showed that Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users' private messages.
NY Times also reports that although the exchange was meant to benefit everyone, a development which had enabled Facebook to grow, get more users and increase advertising revenues, it however allowed its partner companies acquire features to make their products more attractive.
Reports commissioned by the US Senate and unveiled Monday said that propaganda campaigns conducted by Russian Federation across a gamut of social networks before the US presidential election in 2016 included tactics aimed at discouraging black people from voting.
While some of the deals date back as far as 2010, the Times said they remained active as late as 2017 - and some were still in effect this year.
The Facebook COO said that other misinformation related to voting - including false claims of polling place closures, long lines, and wait times - is proactively sent to third-party fact-checkers for review.
Facebook has repeatedly assured lawmakers, regulators and the media that it is battening down its hatches in an effort to do a better job preventing unauthorized access to the pictures, thoughts and other personal information that its almost 2.3 billion users typically intend to share only with friends and family.
He described Facebook's cooperation as "reasonable", but said that a lawsuit was necessary "to expedite change" at the company. "We hope this lawsuit will ensure Facebook takes better care with its data".
But he said most of the features are now gone.
The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. "We need a federal privacy law".