Facebook Allows Certain Companies To Access The Friends Data

Indira Datta - Dec 10, 2018

Facebook Allows Certain Companies To Access The Friends Data

Facebook allows certain companies including Airbnb and Netflix to have the ability to access the friend list of its users.

Facebook allows certain companies to access its user's list of friends, which they cut off from other applications by 2015. According to a document provided by a UK lawmaker specialized investigation of fake news and social networks, announced on Wednesday that a number of companies including Airbnb and Netflix have the ability to access the friend list of its users.

The 223-page document includes internal communications between top executives, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sanberg and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. The document provides evidence of the previously announced controversy over Facebook's choice of and involvement in the call for anti-competitive behavior.

Facebook Gave Some Companies Special Access to Additional Data About Users' Friends

Damian Collins is a conservative senator who led a media and culture committee that was forced to publish internal documents last month by Six4Three.

In the document details mentioned that Facebook provides useful information for its favorite partners such as Netflix, Lyft and Airbnb, and blocks companies it considers rivals and does not have enough financial value for it.

According to the document, in 2014, more than 100 applications of the companies are friends of Sheryl and Mark. Facebook closely monitors the number of ads that these apps paid to post to its platform, and then made the decision to allow these companies to reach the user's list of friends.

Facebook has reviewed and weighed its decisions and said it would loosen its old policy of restricting the use of its competitors' data.

Previously, such rival apps had to go through the approval of Mark Zuckerberg to get permission to use Facebook developer tools. As can be seen, Facebook always wants to link friends' data access to application developers with high financial value in each relationship with the company.

On Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg wrote Facebook could have prevented the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal by 2014. Facebook's abuse of user data included the inclusion of Cambridge Analytica's political consulting firm and Another violation this year has led many governments in many countries to notice and censor the content and privacy of the company more closely.

According to Stifel analysts, they have downgraded Facebook shares to "hold" because of political control failures and its regulations, which led to how Facebook works will be limited in the future.

Facebook has responded to the case that the company limits most developers to require a user's friend list unless the user's friend is also using the developer's app. However, there are other cases where, as necessary, Facebook still gives the application developers the user lists of their users.

Application developers always want to access the user's list of friends to further expand their application

The company said it was only basic information such as name and profile photo, not any private information. Facebook claims that Six4Three's allegations are groundless and asserts that the data it provides to application developers is selective and that the actions of the company are correct.

Collins said on Twitter that although the documents were sealed and only dealt with in the lawsuit, internal communications needed to be publicized to answer and clarify questions about Facebook data processing, user data, and policies for application developers. It also shows Facebook's dominant position in the social networking and communications markets.

In addition to Netflix and Airbnb, the ride-hailing app Lyft and the dating app Badoo are also included in the list of accessible friends lists, according to the document. Currently, these three companies Airbnb, Netflix and Lyft have not made any comments about this incident yet.

Netflix is in "whitelisted" that is allowed to access users' friend data

Lyft uses the user's friend list to give people a chance to travel with their mutual friends even if they do not use Lyft. Facebook said they accepted Lyft's request for safer use for riders.

There are short-term deals and long-term deals, Facebook said, but the company does not specify the time period.

Senior Executive Justin Osofsky and Mark Zuckerberg had a talk in 2013 written down in the document on stopping the Vine application from accessing the customer's friends list. Especially this decision occurred on the right day Twitter Inc - rival media launch video sharing service.

Twitter also declined to comment.

Many applications want to have access to their user's friend data, as this is where they can easily connect and look for more users to develop for their application. So Facebook's access for developers is very important.

If app developers have not bought enough Facebook ads to gain access to their buddy list, Facebook is planning a fee for developers of the app in order to use their tools on Facebook. Until now, Facebook maintains free access to tools for Facebook application developers.


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