Sensitive internal Facebook documents published by UK Parliament

05 December, 2018, 21:41 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Facebook's seized files published by MPs

Mr Collins alleged that Facebook maintained "whitelisting agreements" which gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data.

UK Parliament published excerpts from sensitive internal Facebook documents on Wednesday as part of its investigation into fake news and the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal.

Collins and his committee have been investigating Facebook and its relationship with Cambridge Analytica, the highly controversial and supposedly defunct political consulting group that helped Donald Trump win the White House.

Damian Collins MP, the chair of the parliamentary committee involved, highlighted several "key issues" in an introductory note.

Facebook granted some tech firms full access to its user data as it sought to cultivate lucrative business ties with them - long after it said it was dropping the practice because of privacy concerns, according to an explosive cache of secret documents and emails.

Though filed under seal and redacted in the lawsuit, Collins said the material needed to be made public because "they raise important questions about how Facebook treats users' data, their policies for working with app developers, and how they exercise their dominant position in the social media market".

Facebook touted itself as championing privacy four years ago when it made a decision to restrict outsider developers' access to data about its users' friends.

Facebook's seized files published by MPs
U.K. releases Facebook emails about data privacy

Dating app Badoo and Lyft were among the other companies "whitelisted" for access to data about users' friends, the documents showed.

Facebook said in a statement released to AFP that the Six4Three emails "are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context".

Facebook is accused of using this data to assess "not just how many people had downloaded apps, but how often they used them".

In one email, dated January 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there.

Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment. This includes that Facebook tried to hide from Android phone users that it was collecting data about their calls and texts in case it turned into a PR problem.

"We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends' data with developers", said Facebook's spokeswoman.


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