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  • Mariane Bunn

Meta denies that Netflix read DM's on Facebook


2 bold angels, that look a bit devil, are holding a paper with a big X in red in the center, it looks like they are fighting for it.. There's a big audience watching the fight.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is currently facing allegations that it allowed Netflix access to users' private messages. This claim gained traction after Elon Musk, the owner of the social media platform X, highlighted the issue by responding to related posts. The allegations stem from a court document linked to a class-action lawsuit concerning Facebook's data privacy practices. The document suggests a "special relationship" between Netflix and Facebook, indicating that Facebook reduced its investment in original programming to avoid competition with Netflix, a significant advertiser on the platform. It further alleges that Netflix had access to Facebook's "Inbox API," enabling the streaming service to access users' private message inboxes.


Meta has strongly denied these claims. Andy Stone, Meta's communications director, clarified on X that the agreement with Netflix was designed to allow users to share what they were watching directly from the Netflix app, not to enable Netflix to read users' private messages. Meta insists that such partnerships are standard in the industry.


Despite Meta's denial, there have been previous reports, including a 2018 New York Times article, suggesting that Netflix and Spotify could read users' private messages. Meta refuted these claims, explaining that the access was for users to message friends about content on these platforms, requiring "write," "read," and "delete" access but not for third-party companies to read private messages.


The controversy highlights the broader issue of data privacy and the extent of access granted to third-party companies. Although Meta has implemented end-to-end encryption for Messenger as of December 2023, the lack of such security measures in the past leaves room for speculation about the protection of users' messages. The document also reveals Netflix's privileged access and its advertising commitments to Facebook, underscoring the close relationship between the two companies.

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