More Details Behind the Messaging Permissions Facebook Gave to Other Companies

Posted on Dec 26, 2018

Jeff Jarvis in Medium quoted this passage from Facebook’s response to the whole “letting outside companies read private messages” thing:

Specifically, we made it possible for people to message their friends what music they were listening to in Spotify or watching on Netflix directly from the Spotify or Netflix apps…

In order for you to write a message to a Facebook friend from within Spotify, for instance, we needed to give Spotify “write access.” For you to be able to read messages back, we needed Spotify to have “read access.” “Delete access” meant that if you deleted a message from within Spotify, it would also delete from Facebook. No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission. Many news stories imply we were shipping over private messages to partners, which is not correct.

I’m no fan of Facebook, but I’m also a little embarrassed that for this particular point in the story, I was so eager to believe the absolute worst-case explanation for what happened without bothering to read the underlying facts at all.

And thanks to Jack Baty (@jack) for linking to Jarvis’s piece.