Facebook says preferential data access was with user permission

Facebook Has Another Data Privacy Problem This Time Involving Amazon Netflix And More

Other arrangements allowed Amazon to obtain users' names and contact information through their friends and permitted Yahoo to view streams of friends' posts as recently as this summer, the Times reported, despite Facebook's statements that it had ended that type of data sharing. The ad was in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where almost 100 million users had their data mined by the political consulting firm for use in the 2016 presidential election.

But Facebook has, unsurprisingly, jumped on the defensive, insisting that everything is above board and that users had in fact given consent to data sharing.

Moreover, it turns out that Facebook had developed a special tool that enabled turning access to private data on and off - even if the user had already disabled sharing.

My bigger issue with Facebook is it has missed repeated opportunities to come clean about the scope and breadth of its information pipelines with outside companies. The company insists that those partnerships are not barred by the FTC agreement, arguing that third party companies are service providers that use the data only "for and at the direction of" Facebook, functioning in a way as an extension of the social platform.

Facebook has acknowledged allowing other companies, namely Spotify and Netflix, to access millions of people's private messages. Overall, deals were struck with more than 150 companies, mostly online retailers, entertainment companies, or other tech businesses.

It is unclear what these companies would need such invasive data for, and they still have it and what their plans are to do with it.

The New York Times interviewed more than 60 people, including former Facebook employees, former government officials and privacy advocates to break the story.

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Facebook released a statement today saying that all of the access these companies were granted was done with user permission, including the ability to write and delete messages.

Some deals reach back to 2010, The Times noted, and all were active in 2017.

FB shares have fallen after a New York Times report alleges the company shared data and even your personal messages with other tech companies.

"Throughout our engagement with Facebook, we respected all user preferences", a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement.

The Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) committee called for Facebook to explain its policy on user data and accused it of providing "misleading responses" to Parliament.

'Still, we recognise that we've needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information using our APIs (application programming interface).

"This is just giving third parties permission to harvest data without you being informed of it or giving consent to it", said David Vladeck, who formerly ran the FTC's consumer protection bureau. A spokeswoman for the news organization said it was not obtaining any data. Given the well-documented spread of Facebook's tentacles throughout its meteoric rise, it was expected that numerous firms had access to user data.

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