Meta denies allowing Netflix access to users’ private information

  • Meta denies allowing Netflix access to users’ private information and the existence of a “special relationship” between Netflix and Facebook, which has cut spending on original programming to avoid competition. 
  • According to the document, Netflix committed to investing $150 million on cross-device intent signalling in 2017, permitted the use of user data for targeting, and spent $40 million on Facebook advertisements in 2015.

Citing a class action lawsuit over data privacy issues, Netflix has denied allowing Meta to access users’ private information. Meta denies claims that there is a “special relationship” between Netflix and Facebook and that Facebook cuts back in order to compete. Netflix and Spotify can share content using an API. Meta explains that it is permissible for consumers to send messages to friends directly from the companies’ respective apps about what they’re listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix. Third parties will not have limited rights without permission. 

Denial of rumours

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, denies allowing Netflix to access users’ private information. The claim recently began circulating on X after X owner Elon Musk amplified multiple posts on the matter by responding with “wow” and “yes.” A court filing refers to a class action lawsuit filed by consumers against Meta over data privacy practices, claiming that a “special relationship” exists between Netflix and Facebook and that Facebook has slashed its Facebook Watch video service’s spending on original programming to avoid competing with Netflix. The report also claims that Netflix has access to Meta’s “Inbox API,”  which provides the streamer with “programmatic access to the inboxes of Facebook users’ private messages.” 

Elon Musk responded to the claims in a post on X, sparking a flood of angry replies about how Facebook users’ data was being sold.Meta denied the accuracy of the claims in the document. Meta’s director of public relations, Andy Stone, retweeted X’s original post and issued a statement commenting on Netflix’s grant of access to users’ private information, disputing the claim.

Netflix and Spotify’s messaging partnership

Spotify could read users’ private messages, according to documents it obtained. Meta denied these claims at the time via a blog post titled “The Facts About Facebook’s Messaging Partnerships,” explaining that Netflix and Spotify have access to APIs that allow consumers to send messages to friends directly from the companies’ respective apps.

The document claims that Netflix has access to Facebook’s “Titan API,” a private API that allows Netflix to integrate with Facebook’s messaging app. In exchange for inbox API access, Netflix also agreed to provide the social networking company with “bi-weekly written reports” on recommended send and recipient click information and to keep its API protocols confidential. 

Netflix and Facebook maintain a close relationship, and in an effort to maintain Netflix’s advertising business, Zuckerberg himself emailed Fidji Simo, head of Facebook Watch, in May 2018 to tell her that due to the social network pulling out of direct competition with Netflix, Watch’s budget for original and sports programming would be cut by $750 million. Facebook has been building its Watch business for two years, only launching the Watch tab in August 2017 in the US. 

summer-Ren

summer Ren

Summer Ren is an intern reporter at BTW Media, covering tech trends. She graduated from Cardiff University and had experience in the financial industry as well as video production skills. Send tips to s.ren@btw.media.

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