Twenty eighteen has been a tough year for Facebook and considering the year is still not over, looks like the social media giant has possibly one last issue to handle. The New York Times made some explosive revelations about Facebook’s partnership with other companies, where Facebook allows Netflix, Spotify and the Royal Bank of Canada access to users' private messages.
The report has emerged as a result of documents and interviews with former Facebook employees and its corporate partners, alleging that Facebook let certain companies access users’ data despite a level of protection in place to prevent that from happening in the first place on a user’s end.
The NYT report has also raised questions whether it has violated Facebook’s 2011 FTC Consent Order, which made the company obliged to obtain explicit permission from users to share their data.
As per the Times story from earlier this year, Facebook indulged in three types of data sharing partnership with other companies. Facebook’s “integrations” partnership with smartphone manufacturers over a custom-built app is one of them. For Facebook, building custom-built Facebook app required a broad exchange of data with OEMs.
The second type of partnerships is what Facebook may be calling “instant personalization.” It allowed Facebook partners to personalise their own services based on whatever data Facebook had about its users that it was willing to share. Third, in what sounds like a scary deal, agreed to grant companies like Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada read and write access to users’ messages.
Last week, there was a report that a bug may have exposed photos from 7 million Facebook users.