The New York Times has published a new investigation on Facebook. According to the details revealed, Mark Zuckerberg’s company allowed Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix and other large companies to access private messages and obtain data from its users. A new scandal that joins other similar ones such as that of Cambridge Analytica, the internal documents revealed by the British Parliament, almost seven million unpublished photos shared with third parties or the use of the telephone number to show advertising. A 2018 full of controversies that has led some investors to pressure to replace Mark Zuckerberg as president of Facebook.
The investigation is based on hundreds of internal Facebook document pages and interviews with more than 50 company employees. A work where it is manifested that Facebook’s marketplace and data is bigger than many users knew. Given the new details, Facebook and the rest of the companies involved have not been slow to issue a statement offering their position.
Facebook established special agreements with large technology companies, at least that is how it is detailed in the internal documents obtained by the NYT generated in 2017. They would show a global image of how Facebook allowed access to certain data so that other companies could improve their product with that information. A collaboration that would go beyond what Cambridge Analytica achieved.
Access to private messages and contact details through friends
It would be the case of Microsoft, where Facebook allowed the Bing search engine to access the names of all friends on the social network. A similar case occurs with Netflix and Spotify, where Facebook allowed those companies to read the private messages of Facebook users.
Amazon It would also have made use of Facebook data, specifically the ecommerce giant obtained the names and contact information through friends. On Yahoo!, allowed to see the publications of friends. A type of data that a few years ago they had announced that they would stop sharing.
In total, according to the NYT, more than 150 different companies benefited from the data of millions of users. The oldest agreements date from 2010, but also from 2017 and some are still active during 2018. In response to this information, some of the big named companies such as Amazon or Microsoft said that the data was used appropriately but declined to discuss further. details.
As some analysts suspected, Facebook in addition to using all kinds of data to generate the “People you might meet”, it also obtained data from multiple partners to be able to create this tool, according to the NYT report.
Facebook’s response: “always with the user’s permission”
According to Facebook, these agreements do not violate the FTC regulations of 2012. It also reports that none of these functions gave companies access to information without user permission. Facebook partners need to obtain the user’s authorization at all times, one that is obtained in synchronizations such as logging in with the Facebook account.
Do third party companies have access to private messages? Facebook itself confirms that it is, but again argues that the user must first log in.
On Netflix’s part, their response is as follows:
“Over the years we have tried multiple ways to make Netflix more social. An example of this was the feature we launched in 2014 that allowed members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger. or Netflix. It was never very popular, so we disabled the feature in 2015. At no point did we access people’s private messages on Facebook, nor did we ask for the ability to do so. “
While Amazon has also issued a statement in this regard: