Facebook accused of giving access to users’ data

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As for the DCMS's assertions regarding how the company's "reciprocity" provision and its Onavo VPN app dealt with user data, Facebook points out that users "had the choice" as to whether or not they would opt in and share their data.

The social networking giant put companies like Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft on a special "white list" to sidestep privacy policies it had strengthened in 2014 and 2015 to protect its users, according to the documents, which were made public Wednesday by a UK Parliament minister.

The release covers 250 pages including the MPs' summary and exhibits including emails from figures including Mark Zuckerberg and internal Facebook documents. "I think we leak info to developers, but I just can't think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused real issue for us", chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in 2012, describing nearly exactly the kind of behaviour that would lead to the Cambridge Analytica scandal years later. In the case of Vine, the now-defunct video sharing platform owned by rival Twitter, Zuckerberg approved revoking their access to Facebook's API.

"We've prepared reactive PR", Osofsky wrote, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it". He also said 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.

"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.

Facebook's seized files published by MPs
U.K. releases Facebook emails about data privacy

The committee's seizure of the documents, which were under seal by a court in the United States, came after the CEO of Six4Three, Theodore Kramer, was threatened with arrest while on a business trip to London if he didn't hand over the material.

The emails feature in a case being heard in a California court filed against the giant by the now-defunct USA app developer Six4Three. "Like any business, we had many internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform", Facebook said in an emailed statement. The idea of tying access to this data to the developer's relationship with Facebook is a recurring feature throughout the documents.

Facebook's director of developer platforms and programs Konstantinos Papamiltiadis told AFP last week that the company "has never sold anyone's data". However, Facebook claims that it only used that information "to do things like make better suggestions for people to call in Messenger and rank contact lists in Messenger and Facebook Lite".

Facebook knew collecting call records and text message history was sensitive, but did it anyway, according to leaked emails. A subsequent email suggests users wouldn't need to be prompted to give permission for this feature to be activated.

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