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Facebook Let Top Tech Firms Read Your Private Messages: NY Times



The New York Times overnight published a bombshell exposé, revealing social media behemoth Facebook gave expanded access to top tech, retail, auto, and entertainment firms – more than 150 companies – access most users were not aware of nor gave permission for.

The extent of Facebook’s usurping users’ data and sharing it with other Silicon Valley giants is alarming and unnerving.

Among the astonishing revelations: Facebook “gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages,” the Times reports. “Facebook also allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread.”

Facebook also “allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent,” and “permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends.

The social media giant, founded by Mark Zuckerberg less than 15 years ago, also “let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier.”

Some of the deals go back to 2010. All were active last year, and some were still in effect this year.

“As of 2017,” for example, “Sony, Microsoft, Amazon and others could obtain users’ email addresses through their friends.”

In 2011 the Federal Trade Commission stepped in.

Facebook managed to get around FTC regulations by broadly interpreting an exemption.

“According to Facebook, most of its data partnerships fall under an exemption to the F.T.C. agreement. The company argues that the partner companies are service providers — companies that use the data only ‘for and at the direction of’ Facebook and function as an extension of the social network.”

CNN discussed part of the report Wednesday morning:

There’s a lot more. You can read the entire New York Times report here.


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