Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Secret Facebook Deals Gave Some Firms Special User Data Access, Reports WSJ

Social media giant Facebook Inc. had customised data-sharing deals with certain companies giving them special access to user's records, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Some of the agreements, known internally as "whitelists," allowed certain companies to access additional information about a user's Facebook friends, people familiar with the matter told Wall Street Journal.

"That included information like phone numbers and a metric called 'friend link' that measured the degree of closeness between users and others in their network, the people said," the daily reported.

The whitelist deals were struck with companies including Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan Motor Co., who advertised on Facebook or were valuable for other reasons. All the sources for the story were unnamed.

Also read: Facebook's Data-Sharing With Chinese Firms Roils Key Lawmakers

Such a news report comes days after it was reported that Facebook had data-sharing partnership with at least 60 device makers, Facebook said it allowed a "small number" of partners to access data about a user's friends after the data was shut off to developers in 2015. Many of the extensions lasted weeks and months, Facebook said.

Also read: Facebook Bug Switched Millions of Privacy Settings to `Public'