It's been arguably been a tough year for everyone, but Facebook really just can't catch a break. In the wake of its ongoing privacy issues, it's been reported that the app shared your DMs, my DMs, and virtually everyone else's DMs with multiple companies, including one of your faves: Spotify. Luckily, there's a way to right this wrong, though, so if you're wondering how to disconnect your Facebook from Spotify after the leak, here's what you need to know.
The bombshell report from The New York Times, published on Dec. 18, says the social media app allegedly gave big tech companies "intrusive access to users’ personal data." That access reportedly ranged from allowing Microsoft’s Bing to see the names of users' Facebook friends without consent, to allowing Spotify and Netflix to read, write, and delete users' private messages. In a public statement, Facebook said that the data was shared in the context of using the other services with their Facebook account, and maintained that data wasn't shared without consent, that the deals didn't violate users' privacy, and that the platform hasn't found any traces of abuse by its partners. Facebook did admit, however that it "shouldn't have" left the interfaces with their partners active after features requiring the data were shut down. "Facebook’s partners don't get to ignore people’s privacy settings, and it’s wrong to suggest that they do. Over the years, we’ve partnered with other companies so people can use Facebook on devices and platforms that we don’t support ourselves," Steve Satterfield, Facebook's director of privacy and public policy said in a statement shared with Elite Daily. He added that Facebook was "winding down" the integration partnerships. And as for Spotify, the company told Elite Daily in a statement that it can't see users' private messages because of its current integrations anyway.
It goes without saying that DMs are sacred territory that must be protected at all costs, though. So if you're ready to separate your messaging from your music, first head over to Spotify's desktop app. (You can't do this from your mobile phone.) Upon logging in, you should see an downwards arrow in the top-right corner. Click that, and then click "Settings." Once you navigate over to the "Social" tab, you should see a button that says "DISCONNECT FROM FACEBOOK." Give it a final tap, and you should be all set. Those instructions are listed here.
If you don't see that option, it's likely because you created your Spotify account with Facebook. In that case, you'll have to switch to a new account. If you'd prefer to keep your old email, delete your original account and then you'll be able to start anew once you've completed the sign-up process. It's a bit of a process, sure, but Spotify has a detailed list of steps on its website to help you get this squared away easily. Check them out here.
For what it's worth, Facebook claimed that its deal with Spotify was only so people could log in and send music and messages through the app. While it was reported by the Times that Spotify could see the messages of more than 70 million people per month, a rep for the music streaming platform told Elite Daily in a statement that it had "no evidence" that the company had ever accessed anyone's messages. The statement read:
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 text that was visible to Spotify. This has since been discontinued. We have no evidence that Spotify ever accessed users’ private Facebook messages.
Netflix also made similar comments to Business Insider, saying:
Over the years we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social. One example of this was a feature we launched in 2014 that enabled members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix. It was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015. At no time did we access people's private messages on Facebook or ask for the ability to do so.
Netflix did not immediately reply to Elite Daily's request for additional comment.
Hmm... you can chance it if you want and leave it be, but the Times report said that Facebook provided more than 150 companies with access to users information between 2010 and 2018, from Amazon to Yahoo. It also reported that Facebook "obtained data from multiple partners for a controversial friend-suggestion tool called “People You May Know," which has drawn criticism for being eerily spot-on with its recommendations. Elite Daily reached out to Facebook for comment on the tool, but did not receive a response.
This isn't the first time Facebook has been caught up in drama, either. For example, there has been overwhelming evidence that its ads were used by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, with many ads targeting African Americans through the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.
Yeahhh, I'll just be over here on Tidal and Twitter if anyone needs me.