Facebook explains how third-parties got users' data

Following an article on The New York Times on how Facebook allowed third-party apps to read its users' friends' names and private messages without their consent, the company has come forth to explain the fiasco.

In a blog post, Facebook explains that the company allowed some third-parties - namely Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox and the Royal Bank of Canada - to integrate the Messenger platform to allow users to do things like message their friends, share files and get receipts. The company also said that these features could only be accessed if the users logged into Facebook and that they were shut down for years already.

But the company denied that any third-party was currently accessing users' private messages, saying: "No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission."

The blog also explained that the access to messages would require giving the specific third-party app a "write" and "read" access and the company also included a "delete" access, which meant that if a message was deleted from a third-party app with either "write" or "read" access, it would also be deleted from Facebook itself.

In a separate blog post, the company spoke of its "instant personalisation", explaining that it was a feature allowing users to link their Facebook accounts to various services to see public information that their friends shared. It said, however, that the users could shut it off at any time.

The company also said that it has shut down its partnerships with almost every service - with the exception of Amazon, Apple, Tobii and browser notifications for Alibaba, Mozilla and Opera users.

The blog post came after Facebook's stock fell over 7 percent. The company has lost nearly 25 percent of its valuation in 2018 and saw a 40 percent fall since July.

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Facebook explains how third-parties got users' data

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