Facebook reportedly gave tech giants access to users' private messages

Facebook reportedly gave tech giants access to users' private messages

Damian Collins, the chair of the UK's DCMS committee, said the news "shows that Facebook offers preferential access to user data to some of its major corporate partners".

The whole debacle is comparable to the technical confusion that enabled Cambridge Analytica to collect data about Facebook user's friends without consent.

The Times reports that these agreements, some of which are still active today, give companies from a variety of industries more access to user data than previously known and essentially exempted partners from its privacy rules.

The report specifically alleges that multiple businesses were allowed to access the private Facebook messages of Canadian users.

My bigger issue with Facebook is it has missed repeated opportunities to come clean about the scope and breadth of its information pipelines with outside companies.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company had found "no evidence of abuse by its partners", but there's no evidence they were actually looking. And Facebook allowed Microsoft to see the names of all the "friends" of users of the Bing search engine, ...

The partnerships allowed Facebook to grow, and other companies - from tech, to retail, to entertainment - could access certain data. "You would have had to sign in with your Facebook account to use the integration offered by Apple, Amazon or another integration partner".

That included Yahoo!, which reportedly still had the ability to view real-time feeds of friends' posts for a feature the company had ended in 2011.

Despite assurances from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that people "have complete control" over who sees their content, The Times said the internal documents and interviews with 50 former Facebook employees indicated that the company still gave other firms access to user data.

Another problem is the timeline - numerous deals referred to were still active in 2017, and some continued into this year.

FB shares have fallen after a New York Times report alleges the company shared data and even your personal messages with other tech companies.

"We recognize that we've needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information using our APIs".

"I don't believe it is legitimate to enter into data-sharing partnerships where there is not prior informed consent from the user", said Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook. The Times reported that Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada could read, write, and even delete people's messages. A spokeswoman for the news organization said it was not obtaining any data. Maybe those special deals were fine to make, met the smell test of consent from Facebook users, and complied with Facebook's 2011 agreement with the USA government to never again share user information without people's explicit permission.

Facebook has encountered one scandal after another. It was "never that popular, so we shut the feature down in 2015", the company said.

For some advocates, the torrent of user data flowing out of Facebook has called into question not only Facebook's compliance with the FTC agreement, but also the agency's approach to privacy regulation.

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