In a startling talk published in the New York Times this week, it was revealed that Facebook had entered into long-standing agreements with about 150 media and technology companies to share the data of its users, often without the # 39, express authorization of the latter.
Following the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal earlier this year, the announcement of Facebook's negligence with user data here is normal, but terrifying in the broad sense. Much of the information shared with companies was public about user profiles; but various agreements have been made with companies, each with disturbing implications.
The worst of all, according to most of the readers of the report, are read and write permissions on users' private messages to companies like Spotify, Netflix and Royal Bank of Canada. This access was actually granted to companies in 2010 as part of "an early effort (prior to Messenger) to create a messaging platform," writes Verge.
"In the case of Spotify, for example, the company plugged into your chat window to send songs to your friends."
Many of these transactions have been "officially" discontinued over the years, but the companies involved have kept this data in the background of the user data for years. It was found that some of them had access as recently as in 2017 and that two companies still had access there last summer.
Other partnerships include Apple's access to Facebook contacts and calendar entries of its users, as well as the name and contact information of users on Amazon.
Read the Times full report here.