"But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner's messaging feature", Papamiltiadis wrote. The company said at the time that it got permission from users to do this. Facebook also allowed Apple to hide all indications that its devices were retrieving data from users.
And by "intrusive", the Times means third parties could view and even delete users' personal messages.
Speaking of money, unfortunately for Facebook's investors, this PR nightmare is having a very real (negative) impact on the company's bottom line.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company had found "no evidence of abuse by its partners", but there's no evidence they were actually looking.
Facebook denies this. Responding to the report, Steve Satterfield, Facebook's director of Privacy and Public Policy, argued that 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". While most were technology companies, there were also automakers and media organizations.
Microsoft said it took steps to ensure that Facebook data wasn't used to create profiles for advertising or personalization purposes. In addition to reviewing the documents, The Times interviewed over 60 former employees of Facebook and its partners, former government officials and privacy advocates, according to the report. Facebook also gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read people's private messages. The oldest deals date back to 2010, but all were active in 2017.
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Numerous third-party data agreements described in the Times article appeared to have been relatively unused or dormant, and the news organization didn't identify examples of Facebook's partners siphoning mass amounts of information about Facebook users or otherwise abusing their access. Second, people could have more social experiences - like seeing recommendations from their Facebook friends - on other popular apps and websites, like Netflix, The New York Times, Pandora and Spotify.
Netflix replied to the story in a tweet, saying that it "never asked for, or accessed, anyone's private messages".
'Still, we recognise that we've needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information using our APIs (application programming interface).
The Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) committee called for Facebook to explain its policy on user data and accused it of providing "misleading responses" to Parliament.
Facebook confirmed in a blog post that such data sharing occurred only after users logged in through a partner's platform.
Microsoft said it stopped using the Facebook data in search results as of February 2016, when its contract with Facebook ended. Facebook has been battered in the markets this year as the data privacy scandal unfolded. The agency said in March it was looking into whether Facebook engaged in unfair acts that might have violated the decree.