Facebook Let Other Companies Read Your Private Messages

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Microsoft and Amazon were called out in a New York Times investigation of Facebook this week, as customers of the social media site that received data about users that Facebook didn't receive permission to distribute.

Papamiltiadis said that "we've been public about these features and partnerships over the years because we wanted people to actually use them". The APIs allowed outside companies to access the data. Microsoft had a similar deal for Bing, where it could "see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent".

User response to the joke was decidedly cool, but the notion that Facebook preemptively gave big tech companies access to user data became something of a theme.

He has likened Facebook's latest actions towards other companies to a monopoly and said that the Competition and Markets Authority should investigate its actions.

Facebook argues that its partners abide by their privacy settings, and that they see the partners as an extension of Facebook - thus, the company says it is not violating a 2011 Federal Trade Commission consent decree saying that it can not share data without permission.

Facebook's explanation is that the flow of information between its user repositories and the company's partners did require the consent of Facebook account holders, and that agreements with more than 150 companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple obliged those partners to comply with Facebook privacy requirements and weren't abused.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018.

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A new report says Facebook provided third parties with an obscene amount of access to users' personal data.

According to a Tuesday report in the New York Times, Facebook provided its business partners with an "intrusive" level of access to users' personal data.

When The Times reported last summer on the partnerships with device-makers, Facebook used the term "integration partners" to describe BlackBerry, Huawei and other manufacturers that pulled Facebook data to provide social-media-style features on smartphones.

The Times said the documents and interviews "raise questions about whether Facebook ran afoul of a 2011 consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that barred the social network from sharing user data without explicit permission".

"We've been accused of disclosing people's private messages to partners without their knowledge", Facebook VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong wrote in a blog post. Facebook has said there is no evidence that data was used or misused, but such assurances aren't worth much in the current climate. Facebook has been battered in the markets this year as the data privacy scandal unfolded.

Facebook has encountered one scandal after another. The agency said in March it was looking into whether Facebook engaged in unfair acts that might have violated the decree.