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Facebook admits that Spotify and Netflix had access to private messages from users

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Just a dozen or so days before New Year, another powerful scandal related to Facebook broke out. 2018 proved clearly: regulations are needed.

When yesterday I started to write a summary of the most important events related to Facebook, I was convinced that I have a full picture of the situation. A dozen hours later, The New York Times published an article that significantly sharpens the scandals and scandals around Facebook.

In the middle of the year, information emerged that Facebook gave generously access to data to its partners. The list includes dozens of companies, including giants of the technology market: Apple, Samsung and Microsoft. A few days later, the list of disclosed entities was enriched by Chinese potentates: Huawei, Oppo or Lenovo. The companies had, among other things, access to the list of users' contacts. Particularly important in this case is the fact that after aggravating the criteria for access to data in 2014, Facebook excluded partners from its own policy.

Facebook has released partners from observing the rules of privacy - NYT reports.

150 technology companies had access to a real river of user data. This has been happening for almost a decade - since 2010 and against the official privacy policy. Journalists claim that Mark Zuckerberg together with Sheryl Sandberg personally supervised the contracts with partners. Both sides had to get it. Facebook recorded an increase in ad revenues, and companies received tools to personalize the advertising message and promote their products.

The NYT lists some interesting examples of the practical application of the social policy of the giant.

  • The Bing search engine had access to the list of friends and their contact details without the user's consent.
  • Spotify and Netflix could read private messages from Facebook users.
  • Amazon has been granted access to users' names and contact details.
  • Yahoo was able to watch the posts of friends of users this year.

If we compare the above with the words of Steve Satterfield, who deals with privacy in the company, the picture will be extremely unfavorable. He stated that no evidence was found that the partners were abusing trust, although he admitted at the same time that Facebook had "badly managed" some relations with partners.

Facebook explains the charges: we did it for the benefit of users.

The company has published a statement explaining why it shared data with partners. His tone is quite typical, and the service ensures that all actions and decisions were taken ... with the users in mind.

People want to use Facebook functions on different devices and products, many of them we did not support - the website argues.

The company identifies these specific business partners as integration partners. They had - in her opinion - provide access to social networking services for users of various platforms. In this context, he lists Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Android, iOS, Amazon.

Facebook simultaneously denies that partners would have access to data without users' consent.

You had to log in using your Facebook account to use the integration offered by Apple, Amazon or other integration partner.

The most important is the answer to the question whether Spotify and Netflix had an insight into private messages.

They had - confirms Facebook - but users had to give their consent.

Take, for example, Spotify. After logging in to your Facebook account in the Spotify application on the desktop, you can send and receive messages without leaving the application. Our API has provided partners with access to the person's messages so that they can use this type of function.

One thing is certain: it's time to regulate!

I repeat it almost from the beginning of the year, and each successive slip confirms me in the belief that 2018 was the worst year in Facebook's history. The intensity of the scandals was unprecedented. Cambridge Analytica , vulnerabilities - these are just a few examples of this year's scandals. With their disclosure it came to light that the company's policy, almost from the beginning of its global expansion, did not take into account the smallest cog, which is the individual user. On the occasion of a recent affair regarding unauthorized access to photos, I wrote that all data that we share with Facebook should be treated as public. Further scandals and recent NYT information confirm this.

Mark Zuckerberg seems to be immune to further blows, because his position in the company is virtually unthreatened. However, the time is approaching when both state and supranational institutions (eg the European Union) will begin to implement regulations and put a dam of uncontrolled flood of data that will run from every Facebook crack. It will also be the beginning of the end of Zuckerberg's rule. Each scandal brings us closer to this.

Facebook admits that Spotify and Netflix had access to private messages from users

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