Investigation reveals Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify access to user's private messages 2 years ago

Investigation reveals Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify access to user's private messages

More information was shared between the companies than was previously disclosed, according to a new report.

Facebook is now in the middle of yet another privacy related controversy following an investigation conducted by the New York Times.


The report revealed that Facebook had given far more private user information to other major companies than they had disclosed.

Facebook had given Spotify, Netflix and many others access to the private messages of users, the report found.

Among other things, Facebook are said to have given Apple access to users’ Facebook contacts and calendar entries, even if they had disabled data sharing, as part of a partnership that still exists. Apple told the New York Times it was unaware that it had special access, and of the data described would never leave the user’s device.

Facebook also gave Bing, the Microsoft search engine, access to see names and other profile information of a user’s friends. Microsoft said it has since deleted the data. Facebook says that only user data set to “public” was accessible to Microsoft.

Netflix have commented on the incident in a statement released by the streaming service, which read:

"Over the years, we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social. One example of this was a feature we launched in 2014 that enabled members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix.

"It was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015. At no time did we access people’s private messages on Facebook or ask for the ability to do so."


This isn't the first time that Facebook has been at the heart of a privacy scandal. Just eight months ago, over 40,000 Irish users were alerted that their data may have been leaked in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.