Facebook data-sharing partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft and other tech giants at the center of latest privacy scandal
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Facebook data-sharing partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft and other tech giants at the center of latest privacy scandal

Facebook is in the information once more, however not for the causes it needs to be. The New York Times published an extensive report on the social big’s privacy practices, this time specializing in data-sharing agreements with greater than 150 companions, together with tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify and Netflix.

The Occasions stories that these agreements, some of that are nonetheless energetic at present, give corporations from a spread of industries extra entry to person knowledge than beforehand identified and basically exempted companions from its privacy guidelines. From the report:

Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of nearly all Facebook customers’ pals with out consent, the data present, and gave Netflix and Spotify the capability to learn Facebook customers’ personal messages.

The social community permitted Amazon to acquire customers’ names and contact data by their pals, and it let Yahoo view streams of pals’ posts as lately as this summer season, regardless of public statements that it had stopped that sort of sharing years earlier.

Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s director of privacy and public coverage, advised the Occasions that its data-sharing partnerships didn’t violate customers’ privacy and required corporations to observe Facebook insurance policies. Satterfield additionally insisted that the agreements don’t violate a consent settlement with the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee forbade Facebook from sharing person knowledge with out permission.

Just a few of the corporations —Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo — advised the Occasions they used the knowledge appropriately however declined to offer additional particulars. Amazon issued the following assertion in response to our inquiry about the story.

“Amazon makes use of APIs supplied by Facebook to be able to allow Facebook experiences for our merchandise. For instance, giving clients the choice to sync Facebook contacts on an Amazon Pill. We use data solely in accordance with our privacy coverage.”

Microsoft advised GeekWire throughout its partnership with Facebook it revered all person preferences. Officers advised the Occasions it used knowledge to construct profiles of Facebook customers on Microsoft servers. Knowledge wasn’t used for promoting and has since been deleted, the firm advised the Occasions.

Netflix issued the following assertion on its relationship with Facebook: “Over the years we now have tried numerous methods to make Netflix extra social. One instance of this was a function we launched in 2014 that enabled members to advocate TV exhibits and motion pictures to their Facebook pals through Messenger or Netflix. It was by no means that widespread so we shut the function down in 2015. At no time did we entry folks’s personal messages on Facebook, or ask for the capability to take action.”

The report notes the significance of person knowledge on this day and age, calling it the “oil of the twenty first century, a useful resource price billions to those that can most successfully extract and refine it.” Corporations are spending billions on knowledge, and this urge for food has been a boon for Facebook and Google specifically given the huge quantities of data they’ve on clients.

It’s been a scandal-ridden yr for Facebook. Reviews surfaced about personal data of millions of users being illegitimately shared with Republican-backed political consultancy agency Cambridge Analytica and the company’s attempts to deflect blame for its position in Russia’s makes an attempt to affect the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook inventory is down barely Wednesday morning.

Editor’s Be aware: This story has been up to date to incorporate statements and feedback from Microsoft and Netflix.

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