|Posted on December 19, 2018 at 6:50 PM|
As further investigations into Facebook continue, it’s now being reported that the social networking giant allegedly gave Spotify and Netflix access to users’ private messages.
A New York Times investigation yielded hundreds of pages of documents showing exactly how Facebook shares its users’ information and how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age.
“Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages,” the NYT reports. “Facebook also allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread — privileges that appeared to go beyond what the companies needed to integrate Facebook into their systems, the records show.”
Spotify could reportedly view the messages of more than 70 million users each month.
When contacted for a comment by the Times, spokespeople for Spotify said those companies were unaware of the broad powers Facebook had granted them. Netflix offered this comment to Loudwire:
"Over the years we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social. One example of this was a feature we launched in 2014 that enabled members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix. It was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015. At no time did we access people’s private messages on Facebook, or ask for the ability to do so."
Beyond Spotify and Netflix, Facebook reportedly gave user information to Pandora, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Sony, Microsoft, the Royal Bank of Canada and Rotten Tomatoes.
The New York Times interviewed more than 60 people, including former Facebook employees, former government officials and privacy advocates to break the story.