Some 150 companies have special access to personal data of Facebook, without the social network detailing how far they could reach their users Another day, another Facebook scandal. This time it was detailed how Facebook gave special access to personal data of millions of users to more than 150 companies, to the point where they could read or modify personal messages.
According to the documents detailed in The New York Times, Facebook closed special deals to access personal data to some 150 companies between 2010 and 2017.
There are companies of all kinds, but the most important are Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Huawei, Microsoft, Netflix or Spotify.
Even if all the options for not sharing data are activated, it does not matter, these companies keep access to personal data thanks to the special contract with the social network.
According to the documents Facebook gave special access to these companies, to the point where, for example, Amazon could gather information about your contacts and apply them to their review system. For example, if a user writes a review of a book whose author may be on your Facebook contact list, it may block your opinion because it could be biased.
Companies such as Netflix or Spotify were able to access private messages from Facebook users thanks to the special permissions that the social network granted them. The two companies have commented that they have not accessed these messages and that they were not aware that Facebook had given them that power.
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, was able to access the user’s contact names without the consent of these people.
Facebook’s response says that none of these integrations with large technology companies gave access to information without the users’ permission. They refer to that for these options to work, users had to integrate their accounts with these sites or platforms, for example by accessing Spotify with your Facebook account.
The problem is that Facebook never explained in a simple way how far these companies could reach your personal data. Most users think that by synchronizing their account they can access faster or see what their contacts share, but not to the point of reading private messages or that your friend list can be used in other products.
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