Facebook allowed tech firms special access to user data, documents show

Signage is displayed outside Facebook Inc. headquarters in Menlo Park

Signage is displayed outside Facebook Inc. headquarters in Menlo Park

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.

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

Not all of the documents seized by the committee investigating fake news have been published.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. attends the Viva Tech start-up and technology gathering at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris.

Don't forget: It's all about apps hosted on Facebook's platform and their access to friends' data, an especially important topic in the light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.

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.

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Facebook had objected to their release.

Facebook has been keen to keep the documents out of the public realm - they are also now held under seal by a court in California - but last week Collins said Parliament would publish them if it felt it was in the public interest to do so.

"We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends' data with developers", said a spokeswoman. "Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform".

The documents show an exchange between Zuckerberg and senior executive Justin Osofsky in 2013, in which they chose to stop giving friends' data access to Vine on the day that social media rival Twitter launched the video-sharing service. But the facts are clear: "we've never sold people's data". Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was happening. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine's access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it".

Facebook's staff also discuss "exploring a path" where call log information was requested without asking permission from the phone's owner.

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