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

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

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) conceded Wednesday that it did grant other major tech firms access to your private messages — but only with your consent.

What Happened

The New York Times reported Tuesday that, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) were permitted to read, write and delete private Facebook messages. Microsoft’s Bing could also view nearly all users’ friends, Amazon could glean contact information from them, and Yahoo had access to their posting streams.

More than 150 companies benefited from the arrangement.

Facebook confirmed in a blog post that such data sharing occurred only after users logged in through a partner’s platform. Its “instant personalization” project, while killed in 2014, had some lingering software components that partners could have used only if they discovered it.

"To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people's permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)," Facebook said in the blog post.

Why It’s Important

The newest scandal exacerbates concerns around Facebook’s privacy rules. Earlier this year, the firm came under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress over similar revelations.

Each additional scandal has catalyzed a plunge in stock price and prompted tightening of internal policy. Some have speculated Facebook may opt to roll out a paid tier of service exempting users from data sharing.

How lawmakers and users will respond to the latest revelation is yet to be seen.

Facebook’s stock was down 1.8 percent Wednesday morning to $141.32 per share.

Related Links:

Facebook Takes Heat From NAACP, Muslim Advocates And Trump

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Addresses Search Bias, Data Security In Capitol Hill Testimony


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