Facebook Allow Spotify and Netflix User Private Conversation Peeping?

Privacy issues endlessly plagued Facebook throughout 2018. Recently, a report from the New York Times said that Facebook gave permission to several third parties to access user data, including reading messages on Facebook.

The report was compiled from internal documents and strengthened by data interviewing former Facebook employees. One of the third parties referred to is Microsoft's search engine, namely Bing. Bing allegedly has access to see a list of users' Facebook friends, without being known to the account owner. But even more worrying is the indication that Spotify and Netflix also have access to read messages directly to users who log in with a Facebook account.

In addition to Spotify and Netflix, the report also said that Royal Bank of Canada has more capabilities, which can write and delete Facebook users' private messages.

Spotify is known to have a feature to be able to share music that is being listened to via Facebook Messenger. Netflix also had the same feature in 2014, where users could share recommendations on movies or TV shows on Facebook.

But that feature has been removed since 2015, even with Royal Bank of Canada which no longer has features that are integrated with Facebook. Facebook, in the same report, was called on asking its partners directly not to notify users about sharing data between Facebook and the third application. Many third-party applications also never appear in Facebook user application settings.

The Facebook Platform Director, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis in the Facebook Newsroom blog, does not deny that third parties get access to user messages. "Yes (they can access). But users must log in to their Facebook account using the third partner application first. Take Spotify. After logging into a Facebook account via the Spotify desktop application, users can send and receive messages without leaving the application," he explained.

He added that the Facebook API provides a way for third parties to access messages so they can empower this type of feature. Unfortunately, Papamiltiadis does not explain why many third-party applications do not appear in the Facebook settings menu, as contained in the New York Times report. The Facebook representative said that there was no evidence that user data was misused by third parties. But he realized that his failure failed to revoke certain privileged access when his partners no longer used the Facebook feature.

Netflix and Spotify's response

To the New York Times, representatives of Netflix and Spotify claimed not to know that they had access to read user messages. While the Royal Bank of Canada representative denied the order was sent to his side.

To the Android Authority, Netflix representatives said they had removed the feature on Facebook since 2015, as KompasTekno summarized on Thursday (12/20/2018). "For several years we tried to make Netflix more social. One example is in 2014, we launched a feature that allows our users to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix," explained Netflix representative.

"But the feature was never popular, so we deleted it in 2015," he added. Furthermore, Netflix claims to never access people's private messages on Facebook or ask for access to it. Access to third party applications to read messages is indeed not impossible. But they always ask for access permission from the user when they first install the application and the user can also disable access through the application's "settings" menu.

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