Documents show Facebook gave preferential access to data to certain companies

Documents show Facebook gave preferential access to data to certain companies

Documents show Facebook gave preferential access to data to certain companies

-Facebook "whitelisted" certain companies, meaning that they still had full access to users' friends data after platform changes in 2014/15, including Airbnb, Netflix, and Badoo.

That's according to internal Facebook emails and documents published by UK Parliament as part of an investigation into privacy and disinformation.

In a 2012 email, Zuckerberg suggested making Facebook login and posting content on the platform free while charging "a lot of money" to read user data, like friend information, from the network.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally oversaw a list of competitors and decided whether they could access its platform data or not. "We've prepared reactive PR, and I will let Jana know our decision".

Damian Collins, head of the committee, added that Facebook shut off access to data required by competing apps, conducted global surveys of the usage of mobile apps by customers possibly without their knowledge, and that a change to Facebook's Android app policy that resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made hard for users to know about. The good news about full reciprocity [where apps let users share their activity back to Facebook] is that for bigger social companies we might otherwise be anxious about, if they're enabling their users to push all of their social content back into Facebook then we're probably fine with them.

"We don't feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents", Collins said on Twitter.

Facebook also used Onavo (an Israeli analytics company it bought in 2013) to observe users' overall usage of its mobile apps without their approval or knowledge in order to figure out how many users had downloaded apps and how often they used them.

Ted Kramer, the head of an app company Six4Three suing the social network, was last month ordered to hand over internal Facebook emails by Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee. The files were seized by United Kingdom authorities just over a week ago when Ted Kramer, founder of USA software firm Six4Three, was in London.

"But the facts are clear: we've never sold people's data".

Zuckerberg in 2012 underestimated how much giving developers access to data could be a risk. This year, he had to testify in front of U.S. Congress on one such instance of a developer sharing user data with Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy.

"What has happened here is unconscionable", California Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope said to Kramer and his attorneys during the hearing.

Facebook collected data in March from Android phone users to find ways to improve Facebook's algorithms and find new contacts for users to find in the "People You May Know" category.

Bloomberg's Aoife White contributed.

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