Facebook defends data sharing
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 12/19/18, 11:27 am
Facebook allowed more than 150 companies to read users’ private messages and see the names of their friends, according to a New York Times report published on Tuesday. The newspaper detailed special data-sharing arrangements between Facebook and companies like Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon dating back to 2010. The deals, some of which were still in place as recently as 2017, let the companies read, write, and delete private messages, see the names of people on a private message thread, and see all of a Facebook user’s friends. The Times said it obtained more than 270 pages of Facebook documents and interviewed more than 60 people for the story.
Facebook responded to the report on Tuesday, saying none of the partnerships gave companies access to information without user permission. They said users explicitly give sharing consent to companies when they sign into their Facebook account on other apps, and that the deals allow Facebook users to integrate their accounts with other platforms and create a more social experience on popular apps. But they also said most of the features detailed in the Times story are now gone due to security changes: “We’ve taken a number of steps this year to limit developers’ access to people’s Facebook information, and as part of that ongoing effort, we’re in the midst of reviewing all our [integrated apps] and the partners who can access them.”
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Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.