Facebook has recently admitted that it allowed companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon to read users’ private messages.
This was in response to a New York Times investigation which found that Facebook gave companies including Netflix, Spotify and the Royal Bank of Canada the access to users private messages. It was further revealed that it also permitted Microsoft’s Bing search engine to view the names of nearly all of a Facebook users’ friends without consent.
Spotify had access to a users’ private messages after a user had signed into the social media platform through the partner company’s app.
However, Spotify and Netflix while speaking to the media said that they were unaware of any such thing, while a Royal Bank of Canada spokesperson denied having any such access.
A spokesperson from Netflix while interacting with the media said that the streaming service had launched a feature in 2014 that enabled members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix, but then shut it down in 2015. “At no time did we access people’s private messages on Facebook, or ask for the ability to do so,” added the spokesperson.”
“To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission),” Facebook said in the blog post.
According to a media report, Facebook had added that it shut down its “instant personalization” process in 2014, which allowed users to link their Facebook accounts with other services to see public information their friends shared. But it admitted the software components for the service were left in place after it shut down, potentially allowing developers to continue accessing users’ personal information. Facebook said it has “no evidence data was used or misused after the program was shut down.”
After the Cambridge Analytica, these revelations require immediate attention to the privacy laws in the country.