Leading tech firms and consumer brands have struck deals with Facebook to harvest the personal data of millions of its users.
The controversial data sharing deals was revealed after an investigation by the New York Times, but Facebook insists it has done nothing wrong and defended its decision.
The social networking giant has had a torrid year so far, which included the hugely damaging Cambridge Analytical data sharing scandal, which forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make a number of appearances before US and European lawmakers.
The New York Times investigation reveals that Facebook struck deals with different partners, including Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Microsoft and Netflix, to give them access to user data.
“Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages,” wrote the NY Times.
“The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier,” said the article.