New York Time investigation putted an allegation on the Facebook that the company had a partnership with various technology companies or online services. The technology giant like Spotify, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, The Royal Bank of Canada and companies were given the access to read and write private messages, view users’ name, calendar entries and similar data without users’ approval. Recently, the company had admitted that that was happened but without their consent.
As the New York Times has reported, different companies’ giant had different access to users’ data and private information. Facebook allows Microsoft search engine to see users’ friend names and other personal information. The company permitted Apple to view Facebook users’ contact and calendar entries no matter the data sharing feature is on or off. Netflix, the Royal Bank of Canada were given the access to write and read users’ private Facebook messages. Facebook gave Amazon users’ name and their contact information.
Facebook gives its Response
Facebook respond to the article that none of these partnerships gave companies the access to information without users’ consent. The company has shutdown all the partnerships seven months before. Only Amazon and Apple continued because these are found to be useful. They are covered by Tobii which enables people with ALS to access Facebook and also by the browser notifications for the people who use Alibaba, Mozilla, and Opera.
Facebook states that Microsoft has access only to the public information. Apple responded that, the company was unaware that these are special access. It ensures that the data described never left the users’ device.
Privacy and data security issues
Konstantinous Papamiltiadis, director of Developer platforms and programs, has stated;
Instant personalization only involved public information, and we have no evidence that data was used or misused after the program was shut down. However, we shouldn’t have left the APIs in place after we shut down instant personalization. We’ve taken a number of steps this year to limit developers’ access to people’s Facebook information, and as part of that ongoing effort, we’re in the midst of reviewing all our APIs and the partners who can access them. This is important work that builds on our existing systems that track APIs and control who can access to them.
But, the initial investigation of the New York revealed that Facebook allowed companies to access the confidential data. Application that used to access the data could read millions of data per month.