Facebook accused of giving access to users’ data

Internal docs show Facebook absolutely loves your 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. The accusation comes from key British lawmaker Damian Collins, chairman of the British Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

These were sealed by the courts, but United Kingdom authorities seized them from the plaintiff in that lawsuit while he was in London as part of their investigation into Facebook's practices and handling of user data.

"Facebook have clearly entered into whitelisting agreements with certain companies, which meant that after the platform changes in 2014/15 they maintained full access to friends data", Collins said in a statement.

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.

"Like any business, we had many internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform". The social network itself received data about how people were using third party apps in return.

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The 200-plus pages of documents, which are under seal in the U.S.as part of an ongoing lawsuit in California between Facebook and the developer Six4Three, were obtained late last month by Collins, who used the legislative body's sergeant-at-arms to seize them from a Six4Three executive.

-Friends' data has been a big source of revenue for Facebook, thanks to growing revenues from app developers.

Officials also debated in emails whether to give app developers that spent money in advertising better access to its data, while simultaneously taking "aggressive positions" against apps that competed with them by denying them access to 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. It deliberately made it harder for users to be aware of this happening in order to avoid bad PR, the MP stressed. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine's access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it".

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