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Meta let Netflix read Facebook users’ direct messages, court documents claim

The court documents unsealed last week revealed that Meta allowed Netflix to peek into Facebook users’ direct messages. The documents are part of a major anti-trust lawsuit against Meta, filed by Maximilian Klein and Sarah Grabert. According to the plaintiffs, Netflix and Facebook “enjoyed a special relationship” that allowed the streaming giant to better tailor its ads with the latter’s “bespoke access” to its user data.

Court documents in anti-trust lawsuit filed against Meta states that the social media giant allowed Netflix to read Facebook users’ private messages

Meta gave Netflix access to Facebook users’ private messages

The lawsuit, filed in April 2023, alleges that Facebook’s parent company gave Netflix access to its users’ personal data for nearly a decade, violating privacy rules. It further adds that Facebook received millions in ad revenues from the streaming giant as part of their close ties, per Fox Business. It also claims that Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings joined Facebook’s board of directors and demands his clarification on the same.

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“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,” the lawsuit says, according to the outlet.

READ MORE: Meta offers to almost halve Facebook and Instagram monthly fees

It continues, “Netflix programmatic access to Facebook’s private messages inboxes, in exchange Netflix would ‘provide to FB a written report every two weeks that shows daily counts of recommendations sends and recipient clicks by interface, initiation surface, and/or implementation variation (e.g. Facebook vs. non-Facebook recommendation receipts).’”

“In August 2013, Facebook provided Netflix with access to its so-called ‘Titan API,’ a private API that allowed a whitelisted partner to access, among other things, Facebook users’ ‘messaging app and non-app friends,’” the court documents add.

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