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Facebook gave Spotify and Netflix access to users’ private messages

December 19, 2018

A recent report from The New York Times revealed that Facebook shared user data with major companies including Apple, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo that it categorized as data partners.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Facebook had for many years given more than 150 companies extensive access to users’ personal data — including private messages and contact information for users’ friends — than was previously known. All of this was done without the users’ explicit consent.

A 100-page document from 2017 shows the extent to which the company traded its users’ private data to commercial partners.

Related: Trump accuses Facebook, Twitter, Google of Democrat bias

The NYT said that the article has based its reporting on more than 270 pages of internal Facebook documents and interviews with more than 50 former employees of Facebook and its so-called integration partners, as well as other former government officials and privacy advocates.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a Netflix spokesperson denied that the company accessed Facebook user data. “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,” it said.

Related: Facebook blocks page of Israeli PM’s son for Islamophobic statement

And Facebook denied on Tuesday night that these companies misused users’ data, although it did not touch on the Times‘ revelation of just how much data their partners were given access to in the first place.


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