Fact Check: Did Facebook Sell Personal User Data to Netflix?


Meta has been accused of yet another privacy concern: the company allegedly sold the private messages of Facebook Messenger users to Netflix. The news emerged last week when some court documents related to Meta’s lawsuit were made public. But is it really true? The short answer is NO.

Andy Stone, Meta’s Communications Director, clarified on his X (formerly Twitter) profile that Facebook did not share private conversations with Netflix. He explained that the partnership allowed Facebook users to text their friends directly from the Netflix app on what they were watching on Netflix.

Andy confirmed that Netflix could not access Facebook users’ other private messages. He added that such agreements are common in the industry where two services collaborate, allowing seamless communications for users across multiple platforms.

This is not the first time Facebook and Meta have been accused of breaching user privacy. The company is often criticized for collecting too much user information to drive its ad business. Meta has paid fines worth $5 billion for violating its users’ privacy rights.

Facebook’s Saga of Private Conversation Sharing

Back in 2018, Facebook faced similar allegations that Netflix and Spotify reportedly had access to private conversations of Facebook users. Facebook denied such reports by releasing a blog post explaining the situation.

Facebook mentions that Netflix and Spotify users have the option to share recommendations with their Facebook friends. The company explicitly says that third-party services do not have access to Facebook users’ private messages.

Furthermore, Facebook explains that the Inbox API only allows services to access messages sent and received in external apps, such as Spotify and Netflix.

The ongoing controversy over Facebook and Netflix data-sharing is similar to the narrative mentioned above. According to Meta’s statement, Facebook has not sold any private conversation data to Netflix.