Facebook has reiterated that it never allowed its partners like Netflix or Spotify to access users’ private messages without their permission.
In a new blog post, Facebook Vice President of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong said late on Wednesday that the social networking giant worked closely with four partners to integrate messaging capabilities into their products so that people could message their Facebook friends — but only if they chose to use Facebook Login.
“These experiences are common in our industry — think of being able to have Alexa read your email aloud or to read your email on Apple’s Mail app,” said Archibong.
The second round of rebuttal came after a New York Times report claimed that Facebook allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify access to its users’ personal information.
“People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app.
“These experiences were publicly discussed. And they were clear to users and only available when people logged into these services with Facebook. However, they were experimental and have now been shut down for nearly three years,” said Archibong.
In a statement given to IANS on Thursday, Netflix said that over the years it has tried various ways to make the platform 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,” said a Netflix spokesperson.
According to Facebook, it worked with partners to build messaging integrations into their apps so people could send messages to their Facebook friends.
“No third party was reading your private messages or writing messages to your friends without your permission. Many news stories imply we were shipping over private messages to partners, which is not correct,” stressed Archibong.
According to Facebook, these partnerships were agreed via extensive negotiations and documentation, detailing how the third party would use the API, and what data they could and couldn’t access.
Earlier, reacting to the New York Times report, Facebook had said it did not give large tech companies access to people’s data without their permission as its integration partners “had to get authorization from people”.
According to the company, “none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
“Our integration partners had to get authorization from people. You would have had to sign in with your Facebook account to use the integration offered by Apple, Amazon or another integration partner,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Director of Developer Platforms and Programmes. (IANS)