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Facebook partnership with Netflix, Spotify, others, and the alleged access to users' messages

By Polycount · 10 replies
Dec 20, 2018
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  1. If you thought that was bad enough, it gets even worse: according to the report, Facebook also allowed businesses to view "streams" of a given users' friends' posts regardless of privacy settings. Further, Amazon was permitted to access various users' names and contact information through their friends without consent.

    After the NY Times report went live, Facebook responded hours later on the same day. The company claims the program involving messaging was limited to four partners (Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox, and Royal Bank of Canada) to "integrate messaging capabilities" into their respective apps, only after explicit activation by users, who by the way, had to use Facebook Login to be offered the feature.

    "People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app. These experiences were publicly discussed." reads the blog post by Ime Archibong, Facebook VP of Product Partnerships.

    This took place via API integrations and Facebook says these were experimental partnerships that have been shut down for nearly three years. The backlash nonetheless is real as Facebook has been found time and time again to be ambiguous or lacking transparency about how they've dealt with user data.

    A spokesperson for Netflix contacted TechSpot with the following statement: "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."

    To be clear, Facebook doesn't seem to have sold anybody's data. Depending how accurate NY Times' speculation is, it's more likely that the tech giant shared this data with other companies to "[advance] its own interests," without any money actually changing hands.

    Speaking of money, unfortunately for Facebook's investors, this PR nightmare is having a very real (negative) impact on the company's bottom line. Facebook's stock dropped 7.3 percent following this latest slew of bad publicity, and the company's stock is down nearly 35% percent from its historic peak in July 2018.

    We will keep you updated as new information comes to light. For now, one thing's clear: the US' biggest social media platform is having an awful year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,867   +2,201

    IMO, it is time for the extinction of fakebook.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,118   +1,598

    That's insane if true. And could bring a class-action lawsuit that will bring Facebook to its knees and arguably put it out of business.
    Humza and psycros like this.
  4. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,903   +1,415

    Facebook hasn't been kind to 2018...or any year for that matter.

    If anyone gave a **** about ethics Facebook would be out of business a long time ago.
    senketsu and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,669   +2,428

    Sad to say but almost every major business now operates by the sickening credo, "better to ask forgiveness than permission." In this case Facebook never had the latter and is unlikely to receive the former. To the corporate mind a lawsuit that takes away even 50% of the obscene profits from illegal dealings is still a win. Its just another cost of doing business in their book. Facebook has too much power by far, perhaps eclipsing even Google in that regard. The US needs privacy laws at least as potent as the EU ones - stronger, even, since most of the big data mongers are US-based.
    senketsu likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,286   +4,941

    The fine should be companies value divided by the number of active users paid to the victim of each and every privacy violation.
    trparky likes this.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,913   +3,363

    Exactly how hard would it be to require companies that gross 10 million or more per year that handle private data to agree to handle user data properly?
  8. Humza

    Humza TechSpot Staff Posts: 246   +136

    Hmm, I thought these private messages were end to end encrypted? I assume this happened before the encryption took place?
  9. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 523   +136

    Nothing posted online is ever private!
  10. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,514   +521

    Keep FB away from my netflix....
  11. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,763   +1,159

    Too yellow of a topic guys, come on! You make it look for anyone who has no idea about the current state of the economy like no other company is struggling in the market front, with the chance of sounding optimistic it's actually been an awful end of the year for EVERY company out there.

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