Court Filings AllegeMeta Allowed Netflix Read Facebook Users' Private Texts

By Consultants Review Team Wednesday, 03 April 2024

According to court records that were made public last week, Meta gave Netflix permission to see Facebook users' direct messages. The records are part of a significant antitrust action that Maximilian Klein and Sarah Grabert brought against Meta. The plaintiffs claim that since Facebook and Netflix "enjoyed a special relationship," the streaming behemoth was able to more effectively customize its advertisements due to Facebook's "bespoke access" to its user data.

The case, which was filed in April 2023, claims that Netflix breached privacy regulations by granting Facebook's parent firm access to its users' personal data for almost ten years. According to Fox Business, it also states that Facebook earned millions in ad income from the massive streaming company as a result of their tight relationship.Additionally, it requests an explanation from Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, about his alleged membership on Facebook's board of directors.

"Netflix and Facebook enjoyed a unique connection for over ten years. The lawsuit claims that Netflix "purchased Facebook ads worth hundreds of millions of dollars; entered into a number of agreements with Facebook for data sharing; obtained specialized access to private Facebook APIs; and consented to custom partnerships and integrations that helped supercharge Facebook's ad targeting and ranking models."

It goes on, saying that 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 exchange for Netflix having programmatic access to Facebook users' private message inboxes.

The lawsuit docs also state that in August 2013, Facebook gave Netflix access to its so-called "Titan API," a proprietary API that let a whitelisted partner to access, among other things, Facebook users' "messaging app and non-app friends."

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