Newsletter: Facebook Falls Again In The Pit Of Privacy Scandals & Snapchat Wishes To Beat TikTok

Newsletter: Facebook Falls Again In The Pit Of Privacy Scandals & Snapchat Wishes To Beat TikTok



“Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So, let’s all go exploring.” –Edith Widder

Facebook Share Users’ Private Messages With Tech Giants

#DeleteFacebook campaign is swelling up after company’s latest alleged privacy scandals surfaces.

What Actually Happened?

This Christmas is not merrier for Facebook. From several revelations about its shoddy privacy practices to high-profile political spats. With 11 days left in the year, it’s still getting worse.

The company is accused of giving unrestricted access to users’ data including private messages and contact details to more than 150 companies including big names like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and Yahoo.

According to several internal documents and interviews of former Facebook employees and its partners, the report reveals that ‘how Facebook gave Netflix & Spotify the ability to read and write users’ private messages and let Amazon to access usernames & other contact details’.

Netflix & Other Tech Giant’s Reaction?
In their defense, they claimed that they were unaware of this special access and they didn’t make use of any of the data shared by Facebook.

“At no time we did access people’s private messages on Facebook, or ask for the ability to do so,” a Netflix spokesman said in a statement. “Over the years we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social. [The Facebook integration] was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015.”

“Spotify’s integration with Facebook has always been about sharing and discovering music and podcasts. Spotify cannot read users’ private Facebook inbox messages across any of our current integrations. Previously, when users shared music from Spotify, they could add on the text that was visible to Spotify. This has since been discontinued. We have no evidence that Spotify ever accessed users’ private Facebook messages.” said Spotify’s representative.

Company’s Take On These Allegations?
Facebook has admitted that it legitimately allowed other companies, to access people’s private messages. But they did claim that it worked with partners to integrate messaging functionalities into their products. It helped users to message their FB friends on other platforms.

“The company said these partners got access to messages but users “had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first” before using a partner’s messaging feature.” To be clear: none of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without “people’s permission”, nor did they violate our 2012 settlement with the FTC”, expressed the company’s representatives. To make people understand the behind story, they even published a blog post on Facebook Newsroom.

facebook share drop down

Snapchat’s New Feature Takes on TikTok


Snapchat launches new feature known as ‘Lens Challenge’ akin to TikTok.

What Is The New Feature?

It lets users to participate in viral challenges by making a lip-syncing video (just like TikTok) with a particular lens. These snaps will be based on songs, dance, event, holiday and more.
The very first challenge was reported as the ‘Disappear’ challenge that allows users to swing on “now you see it, now you don’t”.

snapchat on tiktok
Image Source: cnet

Why Snapchat Releases This Feature?

The main aim behind launching ‘Lens Challenge’ is to increase their user engagement, and with the primary motive to steal TikTok’s audience (which is currently the most popular app among teens) this new feature has been launched. Seems like Snapchat is walking on the paths of Facebook which recently introduced the same feature as an app called Lasso.

How To Use The New Feature?

This new feature is accessible via Lens Explorer in the app itself. A user has to go to the camera interface and hit the ‘emoji’ icon, present next to the shutter button, and look for new challenges.

From there, you can start recording your snap and share it as a story or with your friends or add it to the global Lens Challenge Story!

It has been already rolled out, however, if you’re unable to find it, just keep checking for the update in the coming days.

What Do You Think?

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