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Facebook Accused of Sharing Private Messages with Netflix

Facebook faces scrutiny over allegations of sharing user messages with Netflix for ad revenue, exposing privacy breaches and antitrust issues.

  • Facebook accused of sharing private messages with Netflix in exchange for advertising payments.
  • Revelations from court documents shed light on a close partnership between Facebook and Netflix, leading to allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

Facebook and user privacy don't seem to go hand-in-hand. The social media platform often gets into controversies related to users’ data

In a latest controversy, former Google and Meta engineer, Debarghya Das, who also goes by the name “Deedy” on X (formerly Twitter) has shared a document on X and wrote, “Facebook gave Netflix all your private messages on Messenger in exchange for all your watch history, while Netflix paid them $100M+ for ads.”

As per the document, Netflix unveiled a Facebook integration in 2011 to share user data globally. Additionally, the document reveals that Netflix initiated lobbying efforts in the US Congress to enable similar data sharing domestically.

What’s really interesting is that this whole controversy links to a Mark Zuckerberg's streaming service as well. Per the document, Netflix, a major advertising partner of Facebook, influenced the shutdown of Facebook Watch. 

“For nearly a decade, Netflix and Facebook enjoyed a special relationship. Netflix bought hundreds of millions of dollars in Facebook ads; entered into a series of agreements sharing data with Facebook; received bespoke access to private Facebook APIs; and agreed to custom partnerships and integrations that helped supercharge Facebook’s ad targeting and ranking models,” wrote plaintiffs. 
“It is no great mystery how this close partnership developed, and who was its steward: from 2011- 2019, Netflix’s then-CEO Hastings sat on Facebook’s board and personally directed the companies’ relationship, from advertising spend, to data-sharing agreements, to communications about and negotiations to end competition in streaming video.”

These recently revealed court documents originate from a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Meta, initially discovered on X by Jason Kint. This legal action, representing consumers and advertisers, asserts that Meta holds a monopoly in the social media sector.

Edited by Harshajit Sarmah