Documents Show Facebook Using User Data as Leverage

Documents Show Facebook Using User Data as Leverage

Documents Show Facebook Using User Data as Leverage

As part of the UK Parliament's investigation into Facebook, privacy, and disinformation, the documents, which date from 2012 to 2015, include select emails sent to representatives from Badoo, Airbnb, Netflix, and Lyft in which a Facebook executive tells someone from that company that they've been given access to certain APIs.

The tactics came to light on Wednesday (Dec 5) from internal Facebook e-mails and other company documents released by a British parliamentary committee that is investigating online misinformation.

"(The documents) 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", he said.

-Mark Zuckerberg wanted "full reciprocity" between Facebook and app developers i.e. you share all your data on users with us, and we'll share all of ours with you.

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

'Yup, go for it, ' chief executive Mr Zuckerberg is said to have responded.

In a statement released Wednesday, Royal Bank said the service was launched in December 2013 and that it learned about Facebook's change in the access two years later.

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Six4Three's founder, Ted Kramer, had obtained them as part of a legal discovery process in a USA lawsuit against Facebook that his company has brought against the social network in California.

The release of the internal documents adds to Facebook's challenges as it wrestles with issues as varied as how it enabled the spread of misinformation and whether it properly safeguarded the data of its users.

The mails also showed Facebook gathered data from phones using the Israeli-made virtual private network app Onavo, which it purchased in 2010. App developers would be able to pay the costs directly or offset them with other transactions, like ad buys or use of Facebook's payment platform, he suggested. "We also didn't allow developers to use our platform to replicate our functionality or grow their services virally in a way that creates little value for people on Facebook".

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.

In 2015, rising star, Stanford University graduate, victor of the 13th season of "Survivor", and Facebook executive Yul Kwon was profiled by the news outlet Fusion, which described him as "the guy standing between Facebook and its next privacy disaster", guiding the company's engineers through the dicey territory of personal data collection. The company limited app developer access to lists of friends, other than those also using the same app, in most cases, according to the statement.

"The idea of linking access to friends' data to the financial value of the developers' relationship with Facebook is a recurring feature of the documents", Collins said. The material has been put under seal by a California court but it was recently given to Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee, by the founder of Six4Three. "I think we leak info to developers, but I just can't think if any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real issue for us", he wrote in one of the emails.

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