Facebook has had its fair share of scandals this year — mostly dating back to the 2016 presidential election — and the latest has to do with the social network's partnerships with companies like Apple and Netflix.
According to a report from The New York Times, Facebook gave those companies, as well as Spotify, Amazon, and Microsoft, more access to users' personal data than previously admitted. This included private messages, names, and contact information for friends.
"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,"The Times' report read. "The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier."
The Times reviewed hundreds of pages of Facebook documents to get to the bottom of the company's data-sharing practices.
Here's a closer look at 5 ways Facebook shared your personal data with partner companies including Yahoo, Netflix and Spotify https://t.co/aCCApYpz69
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 20, 2018
The social network responded with a blog post on Wednesday night, saying, "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."
Facebook's director of privacy and public policy, Steve Satterfield, also issued a statement to ABC News:
"Facebook’s partners don't get to ignore people’s privacy settings, and it’s wrong to suggest that they do. Over the years, we’ve partnered with other companies so people can use Facebook on devices and platforms that we don’t support ourselves. Unlike a game, streaming music service, or other third-party app, which offer experiences that are independent of Facebook, these partners can only offer specific Facebook features and are unable to use information for independent purposes."
Satterfield added that Facebook will work to "regain people's trust."
"Protecting people's information requires stronger teams, better technology, and clearer policies, and that's where we've been focused for most of 2018. Partnerships are one area of focus and, as we've said, we're winding down the integration partnerships that were built to help people access Facebook," he said.