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Facebook clarifies controversy over third party access to user messages

Another bomb exploded in the hands of Facebook this week. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been accused of granting its partners access to their users’ private messages without permission, let alone knowledge of it.

Therefore, the vice president of partnerships and products of Facebook, Ime Archibong, issued an official statement explaining and justifying the company. “We have been accused of providing private messages from people to partners without their knowledge. This is not true and we would like to provide more information about our messaging partnerships,” said the executive.

In the text, Archibong begins by saying that the social network works alongside four partners for integrating the messaging feature into their products, and this allowed users to send messages to Facebook friends, but only if they chose to use the tool “Facebook login”. The executive also explains that these activities are common in the industry, citing the example of personal assistant Alexa, who reads emails from his users aloud.

Netflix and Spotify Messaging Functionality

“People could send messages to their friends about what they were hearing on Spotify or watching on Netflix, sharing folders in Dropbox or receiving money transfer receipts through the Royal Bank of Canada application,” he explains.

Archibong also said that these experiences had already been discussed publicly, always making it clear to users that they would only be available when these services were logged in with Facebook, and that they were no longer available for almost three years.

Regarding why message partners could read, write, or delete messages, the executive explained that this was exactly the purpose of the feature. “For the partners mentioned above, we worked together to create messaging integrations in their applications that would allow people to send messages to their Facebook friends,” he says.

The note also says that in order to write a message to a Facebook friend on Spotify, for example, it would be necessary to grant the streaming platform “access to write”, and to read the answers would require “read access” . Already the “delete access” command meant deleting a message in Spotify would automatically exclude it from Facebook.

 Netflix messaging functionality
Netflix messaging functionality

“No third party was reading your private messages or writing messages to your friends without your permission. A lot of news suggests that we were delivering private messages to partners, which is not correct,” the executive said.

The statement is finalized with the information that the partnerships were agreed upon after extensive negotiations and documentation.

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