Facebook Admits It Gave Spotify Access to User Messages

Facebook, 2017
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Facebook logo is seen on an iPhone screen in this photo illustration on Nov. 20, 2017. 

Facebook has responded to a report in the New York Times that it gave some companies, including Spotify and Netflix, more extensive access to users' personal data than it has previously revealed.

In a new blog post, the company said the partnerships did allow features like "messaging integrations" but nearly all have been shut down over the past few months, except for deals with Apple and Amazon.

None of the deals gave outside companies access to data without user consent, it said.

"People had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner’s messaging feature," Facebook said. "Take Spotify for example. After signing in to your Facebook account in Spotify’s desktop app, you could then send and receive messages without ever leaving the app. Our API provided partners with access to the person’s messages in order to power this type of feature."


The company also said a separate product called "instant personalization," which powered Bing’s features, was shut down in 2014 though it acknowledged it should not have left the data exchange interface up.