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Facebook Caps of 2018 with yet another massive privacy scandal

Photo: Martin Meissner (AP) This has been a terrible 201 8 for Facebook so far, from many revelations about its shameful privacy practices and high profile political spats to intrusion that helped to allow genocide. With 13 days left of the year it will be even worse. Much worse. According to a bombshell report in the New York Times on Tuesday, Facebook recordings behind the scenes have allowed access to user data from selected business partners to be much more expansive than previously reported, including allowing some third parties. Companies have access to user contact lists and access to users' private messages . Yes, that's right, Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify the opportunity to read user messages and other technical giants including Microsoft, Amazon and Sony to data about users' friends, according to hundreds of internal documents received in the newspaper and interviews with dozens of "former employees in Facebook and its business partners. " Times writes: The social network enabled Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent, the disc shows, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users private messages. The fa cebook allows Amazon to get users' names and contact information through their friends and it allows Yahoo to display the flow of friends posts as late as this summer despite public statements that it had stopped that kind of sharing year earlier …. As of 2017 , Sony, Microsoft, Amazon and others could get users'…

Photo: Martin Meissner (AP)

This has been a terrible 201

8 for Facebook so far, from many revelations about its shameful privacy practices and high profile political spats to intrusion that helped to allow genocide. With 13 days left of the year it will be even worse. Much worse.

According to a bombshell report in the New York Times on Tuesday, Facebook recordings behind the scenes have allowed access to user data from selected business partners to be much more expansive than previously reported, including allowing some third parties. Companies have access to user contact lists and access to users’ private messages .

Yes, that’s right, Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify the opportunity to read user messages and other technical giants including Microsoft, Amazon and Sony to data about users’ friends, according to hundreds of internal documents received in the newspaper and interviews with dozens of “former employees in Facebook and its business partners. ” Times writes:

The social network enabled Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the disc shows, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users private messages.

The fa cebook allows Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends and it allows Yahoo to display the flow of friends posts as late as this summer despite public statements that it had stopped that kind of sharing year earlier …. As of 2017 , Sony, Microsoft, Amazon and others could get users’ email addresses through their friends.

A third company, Royal Bank of Canada, was also listed in the documents as having access to messages.

Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank in Canada have all refused to know to what extent Facebook granted them access to private user data.

Tech giant Apple, the Times wrote, is listed in the documents as having been able to “hide from Facebook users all indicators as its devices requested data,” as well as access to contacts and calendar entries regardless of whether users had allowed sharing. Apple told the paper that it was not aware of any special rights and that the current data never left devices.

According to the Times report, about 150 companies included special schemes “most of the technology companies, including online retailers and entertainment venues, as well as automakers and media organizations”, and corporate apps reported collectively hundreds of millions of millions of Facebook users a month . Some of the agreements date as far back as 2010, the times were set and were all active in 2017, and some extended to 2018. If a dozen of them increase privacy, in addition to the shining of anonymous data sharing.

The scope of the agreement questions Facebook’s compliance with a 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission not to share user data without explicit consent – something that has already arisen in relation to the company’s data analysis scandal for Cambridge Analytica and may trigger massive fines . 19659006] CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the House of Commons on Energy and Trade earlier this year that users have “complete control” of their data through platform integrity settings, but data readers still knew that some companies accessed the data regardless of user settings, the Times wrote. The report also indicates that Facebook staff relied on an exemption from the service provider’s side in the FTC Agreement, claiming that an increasing number of companies that had little mutual understanding were “integration partners” allowed according to the arrangement.

The point of different agreements with third parties was to integrate Facebook into services and platforms across the web, and on the other hand Facebook got even more data as contacts from the partners, which helped to build features like its People You May Know Tool and helped fuel their platform. In some cases, the Times added, Facebook acknowledged that it left data sharing functionality going on long after the agreements themselves had faded into the past, and it seems to have made some dubious decisions about their choice of partners.

According to the Times, records show that the company even shared unique user ID with Yandex, a Russian search company, after it had ceased to share that data with other companies due to security risks:

A Yandex spokeswoman accused of last year of Ukraine’s security service to obtain their user data to the Kremlin, said that the company did not know the availability and did not know why Facebook had allowed to continue. She added that the Ukrainian claims “lacking merit”.

A Facebook spokesman told the paper that the company had no reason to suspect that any of the partner companies abused their privileges. (Note that Facebook revealed earlier this year that an FTC order review of its privacy practices in 2013 only found “limited evidence” that monitors partners for potential abuse of data.) The times wrote that Spotify and Netflix spokesmen told them they were ” even aware that they could see private messages while the royal bank in Canada issued a flat denial that ever had that power.

Another representative, Facebook Director of Privacy and Public Steve Satterfield, rolled off a now-known scripts about how the company still has “working to regain people’s trust” in an interview with the Times. He also argued that many of the arrangements were not violated by the FTC agreement because of their mumbo-jumbo reading of the service provider’s exception:

Still, Facebook executives have confirmed wrong steps during the past year. “We know we have jobs to restore people’s trust,” said Satterfield. “Protecting people’s information requires stronger teams, better technology and clearer policies, and this is where we have focused for most of 2018.” He said the partnership was “a focus area” and that Facebook was in the process of winding many of them downstairs.

… With most of the partnerships, Satterfield said the FTC agreement did not require the social network to ensure users’ consent before sharing data because Facebook considered the extension of service providers that enabled users to interact with their Facebook friends. The parties were forbidden to use personal data for other purposes, he said. “Facebook Partner must not ignore people’s privacy settings.”

Experts interviewed by the Times turned out to mostly see that statement unbelievably, with the former FTC Consumer Protection Agency David Vladeck said: “This only allows third parties permission to harvest data without you being informed or agreeing to it . “

[New York Times]
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