Facebook admits it gave tech companies access to users' personal messages

UPDATE: A Netflix spokesperson reached out to us to clarify that they did not, in fact, access users' private messages.

The company's partnerships with Amazon and Apple (AAPL) are still continuing today.

The Times denied it was "obtaining any data" from Facebook in a statement to its own paper, and offered the following statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

The report notes the importance of user data in this day and age, calling it the "oil of the 21st century, a resource worth billions to those who can most effectively extract and refine it".

Facebook records show Yandex had access in 2017 to Facebook's unique user IDs even after the social network stopped sharing them with other applications, citing privacy risks.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has proposed legislation that would jail chief executives if they lie about privacy, slammed the company's "chutzpah" on Wednesday and suggested recent revelations cast doubt on Facebook executives' public statements. "Partnerships are one area of focus and, as we've said, we're winding down the integration partnerships that were built to help people access Facebook".

Facebook enabled partners to offer services that tap into Facebook accounts and features.

Facebook admits it has a lot of work to do to regain users', not to mention governments', trust. These partnerships, Facebook says, gave people access to more features and better social experiences.


Former Federal Trade Commission officials told The Times that Facebook's newly revealed data-sharing agreements probably violated regulatory requirements.

He has likened Facebook's latest actions towards other companies to a monopoly and said that the Competition and Markets Authority should investigate its actions.

Facebook also reportedly also gave a cabal of Silicon Valley tech giants access to detailed personal information about its users without their consent.

"Throughout our engagement with Facebook, we respected all user preferences", Microsoft said in a statement. There's no evidence that Netflix used its ability to peek into people's private messages, but it sounds creepy, and Facebook whiffed on its chance to identify any open data pipelines, plug up the ones that weren't absolutely necessary, and make a full accounting to the public and Congress.

'We shut down instant personalisation, which powered Bing's features, in 2014 and we wound down our partnerships with device and platform companies months ago, following an announcement in April, ' the company said.

A bombshell report from The New York Times revealed that Facebook shared user data with major companies including Spotify, Netflix, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more.

These companies are not the only ones with broad access to user data. Previously, when users shared music from Spotify, they could add on text that was visible to Spotify. "This has since been discontinued. But Netflix and the Canadian bank no longer needed access to messages because they had deactivated features that incorporated it".

  • David Armstrong