Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Problems | Browse the Web Anonymously | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy | How to Block Spam Calls

Top News Stories

author photo

Facebook's Partners Had Access to Your Messages and More

by on December 27, 2018
in Facebook, News, Computer Safety & Support, Blog :: 0 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

The year is almost over, but there's still time for one last Facebook privacy scandal. If you've been following Facebook's struggles over the past year, the latest news will come as no surprise: the company has been sharing more data with its business partners than we realized.
 
The privacy protections on your Facebook account may control what information is available publicly, but earlier this year we learned that those rules don't always apply to Facebook's partners. Companies that were considered "service providers" were given access to private information in order to add Facebook features to their own products. This made it easier to access Facebook from our smartphones and other devices, but most of us didn't realize how much personal data we were giving away for that convenience.
 
The most recent privacy snafu is similar. From 2010 onward, Facebook made deals with more than 150 big tech companies to provide them special access to your Facebook account. Bing could see all of your friends. Netflix and Spotify had access to your private messages. Amazon had access to your contact information. This let companies integrate Facebook features into their own services. For example, Spotify users could share the songs they were listening to via Facebook Messenger  — which meant Spotify had access to read, write and delete your Facebook messages. Facebook says this isn't a privacy problem because users had to give permission for other companies to access their data — though they may not have realized what they were giving away.
 
But it's not just that Facebook was sharing more of our private information than seems necessary — it also let companies continue to access that data. For example, Netflix once let users recommend shows to friends via Facebook Messenger, but it removed the feature in 2015. However, the company — and many others — continued to have access for years afterward. Some of Facebook's partners still had access to our personal information as recently as this summer.
 
There's no evidence that companies misused the data they had access to, but it's worrying that they had access to so much of our data, particularly when they didn't need it. Unnecessary partner access appears to have been cut off, so there's no need to panic. However, this is is another example of Facebook casually handing out access to profile information without much oversight. Facebook has promised that we control our data, but over the course of 2018, it's repeatedly shown that we don't.
 
So what can you do? It's never a bad time to review your Facebook privacy settings and cut off access for apps you don't use. But if this is the last straw for you, here's how to delete your Facebook account.
 
[Image credit: Facebook on iPhone via BigStockPhoto]


Discussion loading

Home | About | Meet the Team | Contact Us
Media Kit | Newsletter Sponsorships
Newsletter Archive
Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookie Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

© Techlicious LLC.

site design: Juxtaprose