Facebook has reportedly allowed Netflix, Spotify, and others to access user private messages
Facepalm: It seems the Cambridge Analytica incident isn’t the only scandal Facebook will have to contend with. As a report published by The New York Times reveals, Facebook has been giving over 150 corporations — including Netflix and Spotify — access to their users’ personal data and private messages for years.
If you thought that was bad enough, it gets even worse: Facebook also allowed businesses to view “streams” of a given users’ friends’ posts regardless of privacy settings. Furthermore, Amazon was permitted to access various users’ names and contact information through their friends without consent.
Some companies, such as Spotify, still reportedly have access to that personal data right now; despite Facebook’s previous claims that it has taken significant steps to be more transparent and give its users more control over how their data is used.
To be clear, Facebook doesn’t seem to have sold anybody’s data. If The New York Times’ speculation is accurate, it’s more likely that the tech giant shared this data with other companies to “[advance] its own interests,” without any money actually changing hands.
Speaking of money, unfortunately for Facebook’s investors, this PR nightmare is having a very real (negative) impact on the company’s bottom line. Facebook’s stock has already dropped 7.3 percent following this latest slew of bad publicity, and that number will likely only increase as this story spreads.
As always, we’ll keep you updated if Facebook issues an official statement on the matter, or if new information comes to light. For now, though, one thing’s clear: the US’ biggest social media platform is having an awful year.