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Spotify slams accusations of accessing Facebook users’ private messages



In response to the shocking New York Times report on the data sharing agreements between Facebook and 150 firms, streaming giant Spotify issued a statement denying any claims of having “accessed users’ private Facebook messages.”

The NYT story written by Gabriel J.X. Dance, Michael LaForgia, and Nicholas Confessore states, “Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed”.

The English daily adds that it has obtained internal Facebook documents detailing the company’s partnerships which includes big wigs such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, and Netflix.

Where does Spotify stand?

For Spotify, the integration with Facebook is only for the purpose of sharing music on Spotify via Facebook Messenger. However, the NYT report claims that the streaming company is given access “to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread”.

In Spotify’s case, keeping in mind the NYT report, the company might have plugged into your chat window to send songs to your friends.


“Spotify’s integration with Facebook has always been about sharing and discovering music and podcasts. Spotify cannot read users’ private Facebook inbox messages across any of our current integrations. Previously, when users shared music from Spotify, they could add on text that was visible to Spotify. This has since been discontinued. We have no evidence that Spotify ever accessed users’ private Facebook messages,” clarified Spotify in a statement issued on 19th December to Variety.

As reported in NYT, “The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

Facebook Explains

In a post on its Newsroom site on 19th December, Facebook explained that it worked with partners to integrate messaging functionalities into their products. This integration allowed people to message their Facebook friends on the other platforms, so long as they used Facebook to log in.

“People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app. These experiences were publicly discussed. And they were clear to users and only available when people logged into these services with Facebook.”


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