The company says they used data to promote online games. Facebook did not complain, but began an internal investigation.
Facebook claimed that, since May 2015, it has forbidden application developers to collect data about users and their friends, including names, field, date of birth, location, photos and likes. In June 2018, after the scandal with data leakage through Cambridge Analytica, the social network notified Congress of the renewal of access to such information for 61 companies-developers, but did not disclose publicly to whom.
CNN reported that Mail.Ru Group is one of such companies and called the holding “associated with the Kremlin.” According to Facebook, the Russian company developed “hundreds” of applications for social networks, some of which remained at the testing stage and did not become available publicly. However, “during the last two weeks” at least two Mail.Ru Group applications have retained access to the data of Facebook users, the publication noted .
Facebook’s relationship with “Russia’s largest technology company that has close ties with Vladimir Putin” deserves further study, Senator Democrat Mark Warner, who is vice chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN. In his opinion, the US authorities should find out exactly what data was transferred to Mail.Ru Group.
Facebook Vice-President for Cooperation Iming Archibong told CNN that he has no reason to blame Mail.Ru Group for improper use of data from the social network. According to him, the social network began an internal investigation against all companies, including Mail.Ru Group.
Most likely, access to the data of Facebook users during the last two weeks was saved by games Jungle Heat, “Colonizers” and Racemania from 2014-2015, told representatives of Mail.Ru Group. The company stressed that they do not know exactly which applications “are currently being discussed.”
In a conversation with , a representative of Mail.Ru Group stated that the company is ready to pass a technical audit, if required. The holding claims that it used user data from Facebook only in “commercial interests while promoting its products within this social network”.
The CNN publication claimed that Mail.Ru Group stated that they did not have any calls from Facebook, although they claimed the opposite in the American social network. The Russian holding company explained that Facebook contacted them after CNN’s request to Mail.Ru Group. “Later we received information from Facebook and confirmed our readiness for full cooperation in any possible investigations,” added Mail.Ru Group.