Facebook authorised access to users’ data to about 150 companies including several online retailers, entertainment websites, device & gadget manufacturers and businesses.
Interviews with former employees, corporate partners and few documents discovered that access to data was given by Facebook against it’s users’ knowledge and obviously without permission, following their deals.
According to reports by the Times, few of the deals executed include, handing Apple access to Facebook contacts and calendar entries, giving Amazon the names and contact information of users, allowing the Royal Bank of Canada, Netflix & Spotify to read users’ private Facebook messages, giving Microsoft’s Bing access to names and profile information of a user’s friends.
Although, in an official statement made from Netflix to Social Samosa, they mentioned, “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.”
The deals executed were disguised as integrations, collaborations, innovating personalized features and more, depending on the company the deal has been made with. Even if any deals were terminated, the companies involved still had access to data. For example, deal cut off in 2010, were active till 2017, some being in effect till this year.
As stated by The Verge, Facebook mentioned that the information shared only included the information marked ‘Public’ by the users. However, in any case, information on the platform that is Public or Private is bounded to be available on the platform only, unlike being shared with a number of other companies to make money out off shady deals.
Number of accounts or countries affected, is unclear right now, as the news surfaces and breaks out around the world, reporters and the general population would definitely need some answers.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal, accounts’ breach and other scandals including this one have markd a big black spot on Facebook’s reputation but other major companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, Netflix will suffer a massive reputational risk.