Markets

Facebook says companies got access to data only after user permission

Facebook says companies got access to data only after user permission

Others, like Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada, were able to read, write and delete users' private messages and to see all participants on a thread.

Facebook also permitted Amazon to obtain the social media network users' names and contact information through their friends and allowed Yahoo to view streams of users' friends' posts as recently as this summer, according to The New York Times.

With most of the partnerships, Satterfield said, the FTC agreement did not require the social network to secure users' consent before sharing data because Facebook considered the partners extensions of itself - service providers that allowed users to interact with their Facebook friends.

Some deals date to 2010 and all were active through 2017, with some still in effect this year.

Facebook has shown time and again that it can not safeguard user data.

Netflix said that while it tried to use Facebook to boost its usability among customers, it never read users' private messages on the social media site. "Partnerships are one area of focus and, as we've said, we're winding down the integration partnerships that were built to help people access Facebook".

Facebook has published a blog post, in which it responds to the allegations and defends its practices. A Yahoo spokesman declined to discuss the partnership in detail but said the company did not use the information for advertising. The FTC this spring opened a new inquiry into Facebook's compliance with the consent order, while the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are also investigating the company.

Penny Marshall dies at 75 after complications from diabetes
Penny Marshall with Awakenings co-stars Robin Williams , left, and Robert De Niro at the premiere of the film in NY in 1990. The success of Big made Marshall the first woman to direct a film that made more than US$100 million at the USA box office.

This is not the first big incident to come out in public this year, but having names like Apple and Amazon added to the list of beneficiaries does raise concerns about everything that Facebook has done since its launch more than a decade ago. But the company's been spewing hogwash about user privacy for so long that it's hard to even visit its social network without breathing in the faint smell of insecurity.

"I don't understand how this unconsented to data harvesting can at all be justified under the consent decree". It was "never that popular, so we shut the feature down in 2015", the company said.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Times it had not found any evidence the companies who had access to user data abused it in any way.

"We recognize that we've needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information using our APIs".

"We know we've got work to do to regain people's trust".

In statements to The Times, Spotify and Netflix said they were unaware they had been granted that access.

Senator Brian Schatz said the latest revelations highlight a need for tougher controls on how tech companies handle user data. Which is to say that for years Facebook hasn't cared about its users, so why are we to believe that it's going to start doing so now?