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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-shocked-I-say dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/19/facebook-data-privacy-access-tech-companies/

Just about 24 hours ago, we published a story recapping Facebook's terrible 2018. But the year isn't over, and it looks like the drama is going to continue until the bitter end. According to an investigation by The New York Times that cites interviews with more than 60 people, including former Facebook employees, the company gave Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify and other tech firms far greater access to user data than previously disclosed. Earlier this month, the paper reported how some of these companies were receiving favored access to people's information, but we didn't know it was allegedly giving certain ones the ability to read, write and delete private messages.

The data sharing was so deep that even Facebook's business partners were surprised by it: Spotify said it was unaware of this special access while Netflix claims it never checked people's private messages on Facebook nor did it ever "ask for the ability to do so." Apple, meanwhile, was white-listed to view users' phone numbers and calendar entries, but it said it was not aware of this special access.

[...] The biggest issue with Facebook, which hasn't responded to our request for comment, is that it always waits until after a bombshell to clarify its policies -- that's how it got into this mess to begin with.

Meanwhile takyon notes that:

After a year from hell, Facebook parties like it's 2017

Last weekend, Facebook hosted a lavish two-day Christmas party for employees. The event, held this year at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, had a winter village theme. It looked like a lovely time for all!

The party was documented by attendees who naturally posted pictures to Instagram (owned by Facebook!). In one corner they delighted to dancers and performers dressed as elves, and discussed perhaps the news this weekend (posted on a blog by Facebook on Friday evening) that a bug had let developers see photos that users uploaded but never actually posted. It affected 6.8 million users. Or maybe they didn't bother discussing this – it seemed a relatively minor screw-up based on the year Facebook has had.

Apparently the mirror reflecting their past year has a bit of distortion.


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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:15PM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Thursday December 20 2018, @01:15PM (#776785)

    I always assume everything can get worse, a lot worse, that way I'm hardly ever surprised when shit goes terribly wrong -- which they usually inevitably does. Facebook is just to large to not have horrible features that will go wrong and considering the amount of data they consolidate or have at their disposal it is a recipe for worst-case scenarios. Other big giant data collectors are not better or worse or anything of the kind tho, they are all more or less equally bad.

    I'm not sure but isn't it a bit surprising that they have a Christmas party, isn't that very non-inclusive for all the non-Christians. Not that you can't celebrate x-mas unless you are a Christian but that is not normally a thing they seem to care about since so much these days seem to be about various causes and virtue-signaling. So it seems insensitive on their part. Was the elves there to see who had been naughty? Cause by just working at Facebook wouldn't that be all of them?

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by hendrikboom on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:19PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 20 2018, @07:19PM (#776922) Homepage Journal

    Dancing elves aren't a traditional Christian symbol.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @09:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21 2018, @09:01AM (#777139)
    The Japanese for instance really seem to love Christmas and celebrate it readily, even though hardly any of them are Christian.