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One possibility would be that Facebook users were supposed to be able to read, write, and delete their own chat messages via custom chat clients built by Spotify, Netflix, and so on.

If so, the New York Times is throwing shade on Facebook basically for not being enough of a walled garden. I hope their journalists are not that confused?

They have been exactly that confused (or possibly intentionally deceptive) in the past. One of their previous articles pretended that Facebook, by giving users the ability to log in and interact with their friends via a built-in manufacturer app on their Huawei smartphones, was actually giving those friends' data to Huawei: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/03/technology/fa...

Yeah, I think nytimes is intentionally being misleading here. I don't doubt FB made some shady deals with the big tech companies, but it seems like they're conflating granting app permissions so that certain functions like sharing Spotify songs over Messenger work with granting access to all user data.

That would grant the app access to those permissions, not the companies.

Oh hey, would you look at that: https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/14/16143354/facebook-messeng...

I'm a bit worried that some journalists (and some readers) no longer care to make any distinction between an app having access for legitimate reasons that respect users' intentions and the whole company having access to do whatever they like. At least, they don't explain it well.

The distinction doesn't exist in practical terms. The company controls the behavior of the app; the fact that an app has access for legitimate reasons doesn't mean that any given use of the access was for legitimate reasons.

I don't think this article made the case that the access granted was unreasonable.

Mark my words. There is going to be an article that grossly misunderstands oauth and tells people that facebook, twitter, etc, are all giving access user information to third party's willy nilly and that there is an entire system widely used across the web for encouraging this sort of behavior.

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