Mark Zuckerberg may end up finding out the hard way that even Facebook, the largest social network on the planet, is not invincible. After being dogged by numerous security gaffes and privacy outrages, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that caused the company to be put under a microscope, it's now come to attention that Facebook allowed some of the biggest technology companies in the world to have greater access to people's data than it let on.
No little thing, Facebook is home to around 2.27 billion monthly active users, after having surpassed 1 billion users six years ago. Privacy is important no matter how many users there are, but for a site that reaches as many people as Facebook does, the importance of user privacy (and the trust that comes with it) is heightened.
In this case, the folks at The New York Times viewed hundreds of pages of internal Facebook documents and conducted interviews with dozens of former employees, and discovered that big tech firms like Amazon and Microsoft have not had to abide by standard privacy rules. What's most troubling, though, is the lack of transparency on Facebook's part.
According to the report, Amazon was allowed to siphon the names of users and their contact information through their friends. In addition, Yahoo had been allowed to look at streams of friends' posts up to at least this past summer, even though Facebook claimed it hadn't allowed that kind of sharing for years.
The list of what many would consider to be privacy violations goes on. According to NYT, Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada have been allowed to read, write, and delete users' private messages, as well see everyone who participated in a thread. These types of privileges shouldn't be needed for the companies to integrate their services with Facebook.
There is quite a bit to digest, and we encourage hitting the link in the via field below to read the full report. In short, Facebook seems to not be taking the privacy of its users serious enough, even though it's under a spotlight at the moment on that very subject.