Facebook confirmed that Spotify and Netflix had access to private messages from some users of the social network. According to a statement from the company this Tuesday (18), the services were able, for years, to view the conversations of people who activated functions to recommend music or movies to their network of contacts. However, it remains unclear whether the message history is still available to partner companies.
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Facebook's statement was released in the wake of a publication in The New York Times that accuses the social network of delivering sensitive user data to major technology companies. In addition to music and video streaming services, companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo would have had privileged access to private information without users' consent. All companies involved in the case deny misuse of the data.
Facebook admits that Spotify and Netflix accessed user messages Photo: Melissa Cruz / TechTudo
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Spotify and Netflix had access to messages from users that enabled the integration of services with Facebook. The function was intended to recommend content to friends, but it also opened doors to provide message history to companies.
According to the social network, the data was only delivered with the user's authorization. On Spotify Desktop, for example, users should log in to Facebook to send and receive messages without leaving the application. For the function to operate, the streaming service had access to the profile inbox on the social network.
According to Facebook, these partnerships were terminated along with the steps taken in April on account of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. However, the company says it still needs tighter management on how partners and developers can access information using our programming interfaces (APIs). It is not yet known, therefore, whether user data remains accessible even after the end of the recommendation functions.
Facebook goes through yet another privacy crisis Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
A different problem was pointed out by The New York Times in the integration of Facebook with Microsoft and Yahoo. In such cases, instead of providing message history, the social network paved the way for Bing search engine and Yahoo Mail email to see information from friends, even without users' consent.
Despite ensuring that these integrations have already been closed, Facebook has not confirmed that data from friends was being delivered to partners as described in the American newspaper. In a note, Facebook says that almost all partnerships have been broken in recent months, with the exception of integrations with services from Apple and Amazon, which still have current contracts and remain active. The social network, however, did not detail the data included in the partnerships.
In an official note, Netflix explained that it did not access user conversations: "Over the years, we have tried several 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 for your Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix. The feature was never very popular, so we turned it off in 2015. At no time did we access people's private messages on Facebook or ask to be able to do so. "
Via Facebook and The New York Times
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