MPs release secret documents showing Facebook targeted rivals

Credit Bloomberg

-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.

Parliament's media committee seized confidential Facebook documents from the developer of a now-defunct bikini photo searching app as part of its investigation into fake news.

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.

Indeed, Facebook appeared to view access to user data as so valuable that CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally approved a decision to restrict a rival social networking platform from accessing it, according to internal emails. Alerted to the possible competitive threat by an engineer who recommended cutting off Vine's access to Facebook data, Zuckerberg replied succinctly: "Yup, go for it".

In the summary of findings, Damian Collins, chairman of the British Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that investigated Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal earlier this year, promptly calls out the social network's data privacy practices.

That approach allegedly included using Onavo, an Israeli analytics company Facebook bought in 2013, to conduct global surveys of mobile app usage to determine whether or not Facebook should be threatened by rivals or consider acquiring them - as it did in the case of Instagram and WhatsApp.




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

The emails feature in a case being heard in a California court filed against the giant by the now-defunct United States app developer Six4Three.

Facebook wants the laptop to be evaluated to determine what happened in the United Kingdom, to what extent the court order was breached, and how much of its confidential information has been divulged to the committee. He'd obtained the documents after compelling the founder of US software company Six4Three to hand them over during a business trip to London. The idea of tying access to this data to the developer's relationship with Facebook is a recurring feature throughout the documents.

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

Westminster has published secret documents which indicate Facebook collected records of its users' phone calls and text messages.

Facebook wants the laptop to be evaluated to determine what happened in the United Kingdom, to what extent the court order was breached, and how much of its confidential information has been divulged to the committee.

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