(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said it will give businesses access to the personal data of the users without their consent, after the New York Times reported Tuesday that the social network allowed some of the tech giants have much greater access to information than listed.
The paper reported that Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to include the names of almost all the Facebook users’ friends without their permission, quoting the internal reports that describe the data-sharing deals, which benefited more than 150 companies.
“None of these partnerships or features that gave companies access to information without the consent of the people’s party, nor did they conflict with our 2012 settlement with the FTC,” Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook, director of developer platforms and programs, said in a blog post
Facebook settled with the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012 over charges that the company was deceiving consumers and forcing them to more personal information than they had intended.
The NYT report also said Facebook gave companies like Netflix (NFLX.O) and Spotify (SPOT.N) the ability to read users ‘ private messages and allowed Amazon (AMZN.O) to obtain users ‘ names and contact details by their friends.
“At no point do we access the private messages on Facebook or ask for the opportunity to do this,” a Netflix spokesperson said in response to the story.
Netflix was launched with a feature in 2014 is the members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix. The spokesman said Netflix connect feature in 2015, as it was not popular.
Facebook said the access to these companies, better known as integration partners, was aimed at helping users get access to their Facebook accounts, or specific features on devices and platforms built by other companies such as Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon, Blackberry (BB.TO and Yahoo.
The feature can also help users to see recommendations from their Facebook friends on other popular apps and websites such as Netflix and Spotify.
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Facebook said that the users need to log in with their Facebook account to use these features, offered by the likes of Apple and Amazon.
The social network says the shutdown of almost all of these partnerships over the past few months, with the exception of that with Apple and Amazon, that people continue to find useful and which are covered by active contracts.
Earlier this month the British legislator released documents that revealed Facebook offered a number of companies, including Netflix (NFLX.O) and Airbnb, access to data on the users’ friends from the not available to most of the other apps in 2015.
Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru and Gwenaelle Barzic in Paris; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty