Facebook Responds to Report Saying It Hid Data Partnerships From Users

GettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg left and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings right

GettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg left and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings right

The Times report raises concern about Facebook's 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, which states the company can not share user data "without explicit permission". A new report by The New York Times states that Facebook provided the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify unrestricted access to users' data. And Facebook allowed Microsoft to see the names of all the "friends" of users of the Bing search engine, ...

Among over 150 deals struck between the social media giant and tech firms, Facebook gave the streaming services Netflix and Spotify the ability to read users' private messages, leaked documents suggest.

In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, Facebook said its partnerships or features did not give companies access to information without people's permission. In 2017, it was apparently given access to Facebook users' IDs, despite sharing of such data having been dropped for other "applications". The messages disclosed some partnerships and depicted a company preoccupied with growth, whose leaders sought to undermine competitors and briefly considered selling access to user data.

"Over the years we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social", a spokeswoman said.

This is not the first big incident to come out in public this year, but having names like Apple and Amazon added to the list of beneficiaries does raise concerns about everything that Facebook has done since its launch more than a decade ago.

Facebook maintains that none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without "people's permission, nor did they violate the settlement with the FTC".

Acknowledging that it had breached users' trust, Facebook insisted that it implemented stricter privacy protections and Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, assured lawmakers in April that people "have complete control" over everything they share on Facebook.

Facebook shares fell less than 2 percent in NY 11:32 a.m. Wednesday to $140.68 even as other major tech stocks generally traded higher. At the same time, Facebook got critical data back from its partners. "Protecting people's information requires stronger teams, better technology, and clearer policies, and that's where we've been focused for most of 2018".

When The Times reported last summer on the partnerships with device-makers, Facebook used the term "integration partners" to describe BlackBerry, Huawei and other manufacturers that pulled Facebook data to provide social-media-style features on smartphones.

Facebook said it allowed some companies to access people's private messages so they could use its messaging features through other apps.

Spotify could reportedly view the messages of more than 70 million users each month. Which is to say that for years Facebook hasn't cared about its users, so why are we to believe that it's going to start doing so now? "It was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015".

Syria conflict: US 'planning immediate withdrawal of troops'