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Facebook tries to explain Netflix and Spotify's messaging access

20 December, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Internal Facebook records describe data-sharing deals that benefited more than 150 companies a report has found

The deals between the companies were created to benefit both parties: Facebook would gain more users and become more embedded across websites while the outside companies would be able to tailor their products more effectively.

"Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used", Racine said in a statement.

Facebook gave tech companies like Amazon, Spotify, and Microsoft more access to user data than the company had previously disclosed.

But even the companies themselves seemed surprised by the extent of the rights Facebook had given away.

In statements to The Times, Spotify and Netflix said they were unaware they had been granted that access.

Soltani and three former employees of the FTC's consumer protection division, which brought the case that led to the consent decree, said in interviews that its data-sharing deals had probably violated the agreement.

CNN has not independently viewed the internal documents obtained by the Times.

He added that Facebook's partners "don't get to ignore people's privacy settings", but concluded that the company has "got work to do to regain people's trust" which is putting it mildly.

Netflix has also denied reading users' private messages on Facebook, but is also being put on blast for making light of the situation.

The New York Times report comes after Facebook has been reeling from a series of privacy scandals
STUFFThe New York Times report comes after Facebook has been reeling from a series of privacy scandals

Spotify's integration with Facebook has always been about sharing and discovering music and podcasts. "Spotify can not read users' private Facebook inbox messages across any of our current integrations". This has since been discontinued.

Facebook offered more of its users' data to companies including Microsoft and Amazon than it has admitted, according to a new report by The New York Times.

Facebook even recategorized one company, the Russian search giant Yandex, as an integration partner. "For example, giving customers the option to sync Facebook contacts on an Amazon Tablet".

The spokesperson declined to answer additional questions. But, arguably, having access to personal messages and the freedom to delete them is the worst part. Companies are reported to have been able to read and delete messages, and it isn't clear if users were explicitly told what access and permissions they had. "Take Spotify for example".

In order for you to write a message to a Facebook friend from within Spotify, for instance, we needed to give Spotify "write access". Many details about the agreements remained secret.

The whole debacle is comparable to the technical confusion that enabled Cambridge Analytica to collect data about Facebook user's friends without consent. The oldest deals date back to 2010, but all were active in 2017. "Some were still in effect this year".

He did, however, concede that partners shouldn't have had access to "instant personalisation" APIs after features were officially shut down.

Alex Stamos, a security researcher at Stanford university, and formerly Facebook's chief information security officer, argued that some integrations of the kind revealed could be good for users, but that it was unclear which were or weren't.

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