Facebook has acknowledged allowing other companies, namely Spotify and Netflix, to access millions of people’s private messages.
Responding to a bombshell New York Times report from Tuesday on how Facebook shared user data with partners over the years, the company said it had given third-party companies extensive access to messages.
It said this was so people could log in to services such as Spotify with their Facebook account and then send messages through the Spotify app.
The company wrote in a blog post:
“Did partners get access to messages? Yes. But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner’s messaging feature. Take Spotify for example. After signing in to your Facebook account in Spotify’s desktop app, you could then send and receive messages without ever leaving the app. Our API provided partners with access to the person’s messages in order to power this type of feature.”
Citing internal Facebook documents, The Times said Spotify could see the messages of more than 70 million Facebook users a month. The Times reported that Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada could read, write, and even delete people’s messages.