For years, the company that directs Mark Zuckerberg acceded without any problem to the private information of the users. «The New York Times» reveals how the plot worked Facebook is going to close the year 2018 in the worst possible way. And that it seemed that his situation could not get any worse. But the newspaper ” The New York Times ” published on Monday an investigation in which it assures that the social network, with more than 2.200 million users, has been sharing the data of each one of these people with more than 150 companies, among the which are Netflix, Spotify, the Real Bank of Canada or Amazon .
According to the newspaper, these companies were able to access the personal data of users of the social network, violating the agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for 2011 that prohibited Facebook from sharing this data without explicit permission.
But how did this plot work? « The New York Times » explains five ways in which Facebook shared the data.
Yahoo announced in 2010 an integration agreement with Facebook by which users of both sites were allowed to link their accounts to view updates and share their contacts. By then, Yahoo aspired to become “the center of people’s lives on the Internet.”
However, this alliance did not last long, but Yahoo maintained access to data from more than 80,000 accounts, according to “The New York Times.” The newspaper says that even this summer, the company that Marissa Mayer directed could continue to see user publications. A Yahoo spokesperson, says the prestigious newspaper, said the company did not use the information to send advertisements.
Netflix and Spotify
Netflix and Spotify had access to people’s Facebook messages “as part of the features that allowed users to suggest movies, TV shows, and music to their friends.” On Netflix, explains “The New York Times,” after viewing content, the viewer is asked to connect to Facebook and recommend it.
Netflix knows the habits of the user’s thanks to the information that it has been obtaining through Facebook. Especially, from Facebook Messenger. ” Netflix was given the ability not only to send private messages, but also to read, write and delete them, and to see all the participants in a thread, ” says “The New York Times”, even though Netflix « he did not know that he had been granted such extensive powers and that he had used the access only for messages sent by the recommendation function. ”
Although the company of Reed Hastings deactivated the function approximately one year after its launching, the documents that handle the newspaper demonstrate that the company still had access to the messages of the users in 2017.
Spotify, which continues to offer its own similar recommendation function, also said it was unaware of such access.
Facebook shared data with several websites in a program called “instant personalization”. These partners, which included Microsoft’s Bing and Rotten Tomatoes search engine, accessed usernames, gender, profile photos and any other information they have made public.
As of 2010, if people visited one of those associated sites while they were connected to Facebook, a blue bar on the screen indicated that the site was receiving their Facebook data to customize what they saw.
Mark Zuckerberg ended up with instant personalization, but he continued to allow some sites, including Bing and Rotten Tomatoes, to continue accessing the data.
«People you can meet»
The internal documents that the newspaper writes shed light on a well-known Facebook function: “People you may know”, in which the social network suggests friends to users.
« Gizmodo » already denounced that the social network has recommended connections between patients of the same psychiatrist, separated relatives and people who had simply been in the same place, which generated suspicions that the company was closely monitoring the whereabouts of the users, listening to your conversations.
Facebook, according to “The New York Times,” shared information with other companies and, in turn, received many user contact details that it used to develop complex models of friends’ networks and suggest more connections. The partners that provided information to the tool were Amazon, Yahoo, and Huawei.
«The New York Times»
The Times, one of the nine media companies named in the documents, developed an application to share on social networks called ” TimesPeople ” in 2008. Although it closed in 2011, The Times continued to have access to user friend lists until 2017
A spokeswoman for the newspaper said that she was unaware of continuous access and that she was not receiving any Facebook data.