Facebook is responding to new criticism about how it shares users’ information. A New York Times report identified a few examples of how Facebook allowed other technology companies to access private information:
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.
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.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Director of Developer Platforms and Programs, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, explained the reason for about 150 companies to have such access:
Today, we’re facing questions about whether Facebook gave large tech companies access to people’s information and, if so, why we did this.
To put it simply, this work was about helping people do two things. First, people could access their Facebook accounts or specific Facebook features on devices and platforms built by other companies like Apple, Amazon, Blackberry and Yahoo. These are known as integration partners. Second, people could have more social experiences—like seeing recommendations from their Facebook friends—on other popular apps and websites, like Netflix, The New York Times, Pandora and Spotify.
To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people’s permission, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC.
The post goes on to explain the value to Facebook users of having their information shared.
Read the full blog post. How well does the company defend its practices? Analyze the audience, communication objectives, writing style, and so on.
How well does the company accept responsibility for sharing information?
What else, if anything, should Facebook do to rebuild its image? The company has faced increased criticism and regulatory interest in the past few months.