Facebook Says Internal Documents Published by UK Parliament Are Out of Context

Marco Green
December 9, 2018

Whether or not the executives of Facebook followed up on the order as yet remains unclear.

Facebook says the 250 pages of internal Facebook documents seized from Six4Three's founder Ted Kramer and published by the UK Parliament are selectively chosen only to paint one side of the story.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday denied that his company has sold user data to third-party developers after a British lawmaker disclosed internal Facebook emails alleging it had traded user privacy for its own growth.

The documents also show discussions among Facebook executives about ways to monetize its data.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected in a statement the allegations, the company has sold a range of sensitive user data to other companies. It shows, among other things, that Zuckerberg suggested in October 2012, of a trade-off: to Ensure that companies are likely to view user data, could you collect a fee or to run ads commit. One undated memo stated that companies considered to be "strategic competitors" to Facebook were even more restricted in what they could access.

Misuse of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, along with another data breach this year and revelations about Facebook's lobbying tactics have heightened government scrutiny globally on the company's privacy and content moderation practices. "On the eve of the publication of the documents, Facebook announced it was relaxing restrictions on competitors" apps in an apparent attempt to get ahead of the news.

Though filed under seal and redacted in the lawsuit, the internal communications 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", Collins said on Twitter. "We blocked a lot of sketchy apps".

The documents show an exchange between Zuckerberg and senior executive, Justin Osofsky in 2013, in which they chose to stop giving friends' list access to Vine on the day that social media rival Twitter Inc launched the video-sharing service. As part of their NUX, you can find friends via FB.

In the exchange Osofsk suggested pulling Twitter's API access to Facebook friends. "Yup, go for it", Zuckerberg replied.

Earlier this year, Facebook was reported to be collecting call data from Android users without their permission.

There's "pretty clear documentation that they had a new setting to say, 'don't share my new data with whatever crap app my friends installed, ' and then they went into agreement with a bunch of apps to get them that data", said Brookman, who previously served as a top tech aide at the agency.

The emails also include discussion about whether Facebook users should have to opt in to have their Android calls and texts logged by the company. "We use this information to do things like make better suggestions for people to call in Messenger and rank contact lists in Messenger and Facebook Lite". These included Airbnb, Netflix, and Lyft. Facebook will always be accused of, it does not listen to Smartphones, the evidence is, however, yet.

Facebook said the 2015 decision to cut off developers' access to people's information was motivated by privacy concerns. "However, that may be good for the world but it's not good for us unless people also share back to Facebook and that content increases the value of our network".

Facebook stayed the course, with Mr Zuckerberg rejecting fees in late 2012.

Moreover, although the documents containing internal communication between its executives and selectively published by British lawmakers are created to give the impression that the social network sold its users' data, Facebook says that "the facts are clear: we've never sold people's data".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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