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19th Dec 2018

Facebook allowed Spotify and Netflix to view users private messages, it admits

James Dawson

Facebook has been discovered to have given its partners access to messages

Facebook granted major companies such as Spotify and Netflix access to its users private Facebook messages and Microsoft, Sony and Amazon the ability to obtain email addresses of their users’ friends, it has been revealed.

According to a New York Times report the music and video streaming services, along with the Royal Bank of Canada, were given the ability to read, write and delete Facebook users’ private messages as late as last year. Though none of the partners were aware that they had the capabilities.

The company wrote in a blog post: “Did partners get access to messages? Yes. But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner’s messaging feature. Take Spotify for example.

“After signing in to your Facebook account in Spotify’s desktop app, you could then send and receive messages without ever leaving the app. Our API provided partners with access to the person’s messages in order to power this type of feature.”

Internal Facebook documents showed that Spotify could see the messages in excess of 70 million Facebook users a month. However, the social media giant told the New York Times that they had no evidence of abuse of the granted permissions.