Facebook again defends sharing users’ information with third parties

Technology

San Francisco, Dec 20  Facebook has once again reiterated that it never allowed its partners to access private messages without a user’s permission.

In a new blog post, Facebook Vice President of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong said late on Wednesday that the social networking giant worked closely with four partners to integrate messaging capabilities into their products so people could message their Facebook friends — but only if they chose to use Facebook Login.

“These experiences are common in our industry — think of being able to have Alexa read your email aloud or to read your email on Apple’s Mail app,” said Archibong.

The second round of rebuttal came after a New York Times report claimed Facebook allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify access to its users’ personal information.

“People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app.

“These experiences were publicly discussed. And they were clear to users and only available when people logged into these services with Facebook. However, they were experimental and have now been shut down for nearly three years,” said Archibong.

According to Facebook, it worked with partners to build messaging integrations into their apps so people could send messages to their Facebook friends.

“No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission. Many news stories imply we were shipping over private messages to partners, which is not correct,” stressed Archibong.

According to Facebook, these partnerships were agreed via extensive negotiations and documentation, detailing how the third party would use the API, and what data they could and couldn’t access.

Earlier, Facebook said it did not give large tech companies access to peoples data without their permission as its integration partners like Netflix or Spotify “had to get authorisation from people”.

According to the company, “none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)”.

“Our integration partners had to get authorisation from people. You would have had to sign in with your Facebook account to use the integration offered by Apple, Amazon or another integration partner,” said Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Director of Developer Platforms and Programmes. – IANS

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