Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Internal Facebook Emails Show How Company Burnt Rivals, Struck Deals Over Data

Internal Facebook Emails Show How Company Burnt Rivals, Struck Deals Over Data

In his memo, Collins highlighted what his committee determines to be the six key findings from the documents.

A British parliamentary committee accused Facebook on Wednesday of giving companies such as Netflix preferential access to users' data even after it tightened its privacy rules in 2014-15.

Internal emails at Facebook Inc., including those involving Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, were published online by a committee of United Kingdom lawmakers investigating social media's role in the spread of fake news. The defunct app developer obtained them as part of its ongoing lawsuit in California state court alleging that Facebook violated promises to developers.

The release covers 250 pages including the MPs' summary and exhibits including emails from figures including Mark Zuckerberg and internal Facebook documents.

Facebook, which has described the Six4Three case as baseless, said the released communications are misleading without additional context, but did not elaborate. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not".

He is also the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that's investigating Facebook.

Facebook's seized files published by MPs
UK parliament releases internal Facebook documents

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

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

"Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy whose vice president was Republican strategist Steve Bannon, gained access to data on 87 million users in ways that Facebook has said was improper but resembled a common practice at the time among app developers", the Post reports.

Collins also alleged that Facebook took aggressive positions against competitor apps by denying them access to any user data.

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.

In one email, dated February 4, 2015, a Facebook engineer said a feature of the Android Facebook app that would "continually upload" a user's call and SMS history would be a "high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective". The engineer suggested shutting down Vine's access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it".

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