It's a new week, which means it's time for another news critic for Facebook. This time, the company has entered a data sharing strain, revealed by The New York Times.
The publication claims that Facebook has made agreements with some of the world's largest technology giants, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Yahoo and Russian search engine Yandex, which gave these companies much more power than they needed. The offers were made over the years, back to as early as 2010. Facebook claims that most of these agreements have been terminated, although some – including those with Apple and Amazon – are still in use.
Sharing agreements is actually quite scary, although some of the companies involved were quick to claim they were never aware of excessive power, or misused the data to Facebook users in any way. For example, Apple had access to Facebook user contacts and calendar entries, although the user did not agree that Facebook should share data with third parties. Apple claimed that the company was not aware of the particular access at all.
Microsoft, however, had access to see the names and profiles of a Facebook user's friends for Bing. The software giant claimed that the company has already deleted the data that was opened and never used the data for advertising purposes, with Facebook claiming that the search engine only had access to user data that was "public". Apps that allowed users to access their Facebook account also had special access to Windows Phone devices, at least according to Facebook itself.
And then Amazon has access to see the names and contact information of the users, even though this partnership is apparently about to shut down.
But the scary of them all is Facebook gave some of its partners – like Spotify, Netflix, and Royal Bank of Canada – access to users private messages on Facebook. The access will allow these services to read users' private messages, write, and even delete them. Netflix was quick to respond to the report, stating that the company had no access to people's private messages on Facebook, or ever asked Facebook about the special access.
"Facebook's partners are not allowed to ignore people's privacy settings, and it's wrong to suggest they do," said the company's director of privacy the New York Times. The company continued to emphasize the fact that it did not break any of the user's privacy settings, saying that "neither of these partnerships or features gave the companies access to information without people's permission, nor did they break our 2012 settlement with the FTC."
At this time, all of this is just one big mess for Facebook. Not only will the latest controversy affect user confidence, which has already gone down quickly, but it will also affect the company's relationship with companies like Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. This is not just about Facebook, but it will also affect the reputation of all of these companies involved, although most have already refused to be aware of or abuse the special access provided by Facebook.
It really makes you wonder if Facebook even values your personal data. If you sell your personal data, it was bad to give away the same data is embarrassing catastrophic.
Tagged with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Facebook Privacy, Microsoft, Netflix, Privacy, Spotify