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Spotify denies accessing Facebook users’ private messages

By | Published on Thursday 20 December 2018


Spotify has denied accessing Facebook users’ private messages, following a New York Times report earlier this week claiming that it was among over 150 companies given such permissions by the social media giant.

The report claims that Spotify – along with Netflix and the Royal Bank Of Canada – was given the rights to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread. This was as part of an integration that allowed users to share tracks from Spotify within Facebook Messenger. But a spokesperson for Spotify told the NYT that the company had been unaware that it had even been given such powers by Facebook.

In a subsequent statement, the streaming music firm said: “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”.

Facebook has, however, admitted that it did give Spotify and others the option to access private data, saying in a blog post: “Did partners get access to messages? Yes. But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner’s messaging feature. 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”.

It also said that “most of these features are now gone” but that the company recognises “that we’ve needed tighter management over how partners and developers can access information using our APIs”.

Elsewhere in the NYT article, it is claimed that another streaming music firm, Pandora, was among several companies to enter into agreements allowing them access to data shut off to others as certain features were discontinued.