Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday.
The Times obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents which were generated in 2017 that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them from its privacy rules.
Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread.
It also allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, let Apple access users’ Facebook contacts and calendars even if users had disabled data sharing, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer,” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago, the report said. Collectively, applications made by these technology companies sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month.