Facebook Gave Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix Unrestricted Access To User Data

Facebook Gave Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix Unrestricted Access To User Data

Facebook Gave Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix Unrestricted Access To User Data

Facebook also let Amazon learn users' names and contact information through friends and Yahoo utilized the platform to view streams of friends' posts as recently as this summer.

Facebook has been under scrutiny since the revelation in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had misused Facebook user data in the run-up to the 2016 USA presidential election. But to do that, Facebook had to give Spotify the user's list of Facebook friends.

In their defense, Netflix and Spotify have claimed that they were unaware of the special access.

However, he also criticised the Times' report for blurring the lines between access by third-party clients or OS integrations with what could be legitimate concerns about data being sent out to other companies.

These partnerships often focus on company integrations, where Facebook and another tech company collaborate to create new apps, products or capabilities.

Facebook defended its data sharing practices, with Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook's head of developer platforms and programs, saying in a blog post early Wednesday that the Times report was about "integration partners" which enabled "social experiences - like seeing recommendations from their Facebook friends - on other popular apps and websites".

Facebook said it shut down almost all of these partnerships over the past several months, except Apple and Amazon.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018.

A New York Times report alleges Facebook gave access to user messages to Netflix and Spotify.

The deals were all active in 2017, and some were still in effect this year, the Times reported.

A separate statement said that Facebook had found no evidence of abuse of data by any of its partners. The Times reported that Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada could read, write, and even delete people's messages.

Netflix never asked for, or accessed, anyone's private messages. Facebook has said there is no evidence that data was used or misused, but such assurances aren't worth much in the current climate.

Disclosing such information violated Facebook's normal privacy rules and was meant to help companies better target consumers, while raising internal advertising revenues, according to the report. According to the company, the deals did not violate Facebook's 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in which the company agreed not to share users' data without their explicit permission.

More troubling to observers, however, was any sense that Facebook gave third parties deep access to user data without properly informing users and gaining permission.

At their root, disclosures about Facebook's data deals undermine trust in the company.

The social network has been under intense pressure over its practices over the previous year, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a series data breaches and concerns over fake news and other content on the site.

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