Facebook has shared user data with major companies including Spotify, Netflix, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more that it categorized as data partners, a shocking report from The New York Times revealed.
One of the most alarming findings was that some partners were allegedly able to access users' private messages — including the ability to read, compose, or delete messages, according to The Times.
More than 200 pages of documents generated in 2017 by Facebook's automated partnership tracker were analysed by the newspaper.
Facebook does not sell user data, but it entered into data-sharing partnerships with over 150 companies, which were not subject to the usual privacy controls.
"The deals, the oldest of which date to 2010, were all active in 2017," The Times reported. "Some were still in effect this year."
In statements to The Times, Spotify and Netflix said they were unaware they had been granted that specific access.
Amazon, Microsoft's Bing search engine and Yahoo were also data partners. Amazon, for example, could see users' names and contact information through their friends.
Facebook is also being sued by Washington DC's top prosecutor for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The social media giant was accused of allowing the wholesale scraping of personal data on tens of millions of users.
In April, it was revealed that personal data from more than 6,000 Maltese Facebook users in the EU was shared with the notorious analytics firm.