A Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin could have had access to the Facebook data of millions of people in the US without their knowledge.
- CNN said Russian internet company may have accessed Facebook accounts
- Russian technology conglomerate Mail.Ru Group had the ability to access to information
- Prior to 2015, in some cases, when Facebook users interacted with apps built by third-party developers on Facebook
That means users' personal data, their friends, photographs all could be in the hands of the Russian government due to a Facebook slip up.
Through a long list of Facebook applications, Russian technology conglomerate Mail.Ru Group had the ability to access to information including users' names as well as their genders, birthdays, locations, and likes on Facebook, a source briefed on the investigation into the misuse of Facebook data told CNN.
Facebook told CNN on Tuesday that apps developed by the Mail.Ru Group were being looked at as part of the company's wider investigation into the misuse of Facebook user data in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Mail.Ru Group developed hundreds of Facebook apps, some of which were test apps that were not made public, Facebook said.
Prior to 2015, in some cases, when Facebook users interacted with apps built by third-party developers on Facebook, the developer not only received data about that user, but also about the users' friends.
Facebook has not disclose who was responsible for granting Mail.Ru an extension.
Facebook would not say on Tuesday how much user data the Mail.Ru Group obtained or if any data was obtained about Americans.
In a written statement provided to CNN after an interview on Tuesday, Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Ime Archibong said, "Facebook is a global company with users all over the world so we work with developers globally to bring our services to people everywhere — as long as those developers adhere to our platform policies.
"Mail.ru, one of the top five largest internet companies in the world, has built apps for the Facebook platform and for other major platforms, including iOS and Android for years. We've found no indication of misuse with Mail.ru. If we find misuse, we ban the developers."
Information from CNN was used in this report.