Over 150 companies reportedly benefited from “special arrangements” with Facebook for data access despite assertions from the social network that users had full control of where their data went.
Citing hundreds of pages of internal documents, The New York Times reports that the deals involved the “data of hundreds of millions of people a month,” and were all active in 2017. Some were reportedly still active in 2018. Facebook’s partners—in the tech, media, retail and entertainment industries—reportedly had access to swaths of data.
Search engine Bing was reportedly permitted to see “the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent.” Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada could reportedly read, write, and delete the private messages of users. The Times also reports that Russian search engine Yandex had access to “Facebook’s unique user IDs” in 2017. The search engine told the newspaper they have never been audited by Facebook.