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Royal Bank of Canada Disputes Report Claiming it Accessed Users’ Facebook Messages

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The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has today disputed a recent report by the New York Times which claimed that the bank, along with some other companies, had full access to users Facebook messages, CBC News is reporting. According to the NYT report, the bank had the ability to read, write and delete users’ private messages.

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For those who aren’t aware, the NYT’s recently published report based on hundreds of pages of internal documents and corroborating interviews with dozens of employees, alleges that Facebook allowed companies, including Canada’s largest company, the Royal Bank of Canada, to see the names of a user’s entire friends list without permission, and in some cases gave them access to users’ private messages.

However, RBC has today denied that it never even had the ability to view users’ private messages, let alone write or delete them. Here’s what RBC spokesman AJ Goodman said:

“RBC’s use of the Facebook platform was limited to the development of a service that enabled clients to facilitate payment transactions to their Facebook friends. As part of our security and fraud protocols, we needed to uniquely identify the recipient of funds and payments to securely process the transaction and deliver the notification.

We did not have the ability to see users’ messages. We decommissioned the service in 2015 and our limited access, which was used strictly to enable our clients’ payments, ended at that time.”

The New York Times report also details ways that various technology companies were granted unprecedented access to Facebook’s user data, including Yahoo, Netflix, Lyft, Airbnb, Microsoft, Amazon, and Spotify.

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