A recent development has again raised questions on how Facebook is using its data to benefit itself. According to various channels, Facebook had signed multiple deals with numerous technology giants and had let them access more of their user data than they had admitted to earlier. The revelation unveiled that the social media platform had signed data-sharing agreements with more than 150 companies. The arrangements aided Facebook in gaining more users while the companies who were accessing the data continuously revamped their products to gain traction and popularity. However Apart from Facebook, the biggest beneficiaries of the deal were Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, and Spotify. While Amazon was given the access to users’ names and contact information through their friends’ list, Microsoft’s search engine Bing was able to view all the Facebook users’ friend names and contact information. On the other hand, Netflix and Spotify were allegedly given access to read users’ private messages. Notably, Facebook CEO had commented that the users of the platform hold complete control of their information. Further, the revelation divulged that the social media platform is still continuing such arrangements with over 50 companies. Facebook has been accused of violating the 2011 consent agreement signed with the Federal Trade Commission. The allegations suggest that according to the agreement, Facebook is not allowed to share users’ data without obtaining their explicit permissions. However, Facebook has denied the allegations stating that the social platform considered the users an extension of themselves and thus did not need to obtain their explicit consent. In the light of the revelation, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple have denied being granted such permissions. Further, the disclosure has divulged that along with tech companies the social media platform shared data with media houses and automobile manufacturers. The news is another huge blow to Facebook’s reputation. The social media platform has been under criticism due to a string of revelations made this year. In April, Facebook admitted Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm, may have had access to over 86 million user data. The data analysis firm played a major role in Donald Trump winning the 2016 elections. Another revelation that presented the company in a bad light was when the social media platform divulged that hackers had gained access to contact information of over 30 million Facebook users. Facebook will have to work hard to regain the trust of their users and reinstate their reputation in the market.
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