Leaked docs show Facebook’s user data favouritism


In 2014, Facebook had plans to sell user data to select companies and remove access to others which fell out of favour, according to documents leaked to NBC News.

The leaked information revealed that Facebook granted Amazon increased access as the company was purchasing a significant amount of advertising on the platform and working together to promote the Amazon fire phone. In another case, Facebook discussed revoking access to another application it felt was a viable competitor.

This was at the same time as the Menlo Park-based company told customers they were making these changes to protect users’ privacy. At the end of the day, Facebook did eventually make the call to not sell user data on its own — but continued to offer it to companies which Zuckerberg saw as “friends,” according to NBC News.

The documents are connected to the ongoing court case between Facebook and the developers of a photo searching app which would find pictures of Facebook users’ friends in bikinis. The documents were originally made public by the United Kingdom’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on fake news and Facebook’s involvement in elections meddling. In that case, 400 pages of about 4,000 were released. Now NBC News says they have the rest.

“As we’ve said many times, Six4Three — creators of the Pikinis app — cherry picked these documents from years ago as part of a lawsuit to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app’s users,” said Paul Grewal, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook, in a statement released by the company to NBC.

“The set of documents, by design, tells only one side of the story and omits important context. We still stand by the platform changes we made in 2014/2015 to prevent people from sharing their friends’ information with developers like the creators of Pikinis.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also amongst the tech leaders invited to participate in the next Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News,’ scheduled to be held on May 28 in Ottawa.

Source: NBC News