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lawsuit reveals that Facebook has reportedly sold all of its users private messages to Netflix for $100 million

Facebook Accused of Selling User Messages to Netflix in Antitrust Lawsuit


A recent lawsuit has sparked outrage, alleging Facebook (now Meta) shared users’ private messages with Netflix for nearly a decade. The explosive claims, part of an anti-trust lawsuit filed in April 2023, allege Netflix paid over $100 million for access to this data.


The lawsuit, filed by Maximilian Klein and Sarah Grabert, suggests Meta provided Netflix with a special “Inbox API” allowing them to see user messages. This access, according to the plaintiffs, aimed to help Netflix personalize content recommendations for its own users.


Court documents unsealed in March 2023 detail a close relationship between the two tech giants. Netflix was reportedly a major advertiser on Facebook’s platform, potentially giving them leverage in negotiations. The alleged agreement dates back to 2013, raising concerns about user privacy throughout that period.


Privacy Concerns and Antitrust Implications


If proven true, these allegations represent a massive breach of user trust. Facebook users expect their private messages to remain confidential. Sharing this data, even for a large sum, could be a violation of privacy policies and potentially, data protection laws.


The lawsuit also highlights potential antitrust concerns. By allegedly giving Netflix special access to user data, Meta may have stifled competition in the streaming market. Facebook’s own streaming service, ultimately shut down in April 2023, could have been hampered by this data imbalance.


What’s Next?


Meta has yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit’s claims. The lawsuit is ongoing, and the court will determine the validity of the accusations. This situation could have significant consequences for both Facebook and Netflix, potentially leading to hefty fines, regulatory changes, and a damaged reputation.

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