From As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.


Facebook also allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread — privileges that appeared to go beyond what the companies needed to integrate Facebook into their systems, the records show.

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    Multiple reputable news agencies are reporting on this story. However it is phrased as 'according to reports'. If you are asking if there are reputable reports then it's obviously true. if you are asking if these reports are true, that's the subject of an ongoing story. Dec 20, 2018 at 14:41
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    Finding out what the original reports are that they're reporting based on would be useful. Also, "we can't answer that quite yet" isn't a reason to object to a skeptics question. (Admittedly, it is a reason to insist on patience.)
    – Ben Barden
    Dec 20, 2018 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


Facebook admits that four outside entities (Spotify, Netflix, Dropbox, and Royal Bank of Canada) had read/write/delete access to Facebook users' messages.

However, Facebook insists that:

No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission.

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    Perhaps a bit more context would be more illuminating. For example, only for users of their respective apps who had clicked approval.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 22, 2018 at 15:32
  • I feel the part regarding "privileges that appeared to go beyond what the companies needed to integrate Facebook into their systems" is not answered by this. The read/write/delete access could have been restricted to only threads started via those Apps. I don't see any statement regarding a complete RWD access to all messages.
    – Bakuriu
    Dec 22, 2018 at 16:36
  • @Oddthinking do you mean that both the sender and recipient of the message had to approve, or just one or the two?
    – DavePhD
    Dec 22, 2018 at 17:06
  • @Bakuriu This 2017 article says that all private messages get analyzed to recommend Spotify content, if intelligent assistant is on. theverge.com/2017/8/14/16143354/…
    – DavePhD
    Dec 22, 2018 at 18:38
  • @DavePhD That could be implemented on the Facebook-side without giving any access to Spotify at all.
    – Bakuriu
    Dec 23, 2018 at 8:54

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