Many companies have been interested in Facebook user data over the years: some major providers were apparently favored. This is suggested by internal documents that are now online.
A British parliamentary committee has internal documents from Facebook on Wednesday published . From the documents and e-mails, for example, it emerges that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally agreed in 2013 to cut off the access of the video app Vine to make friends on Facebook. „Yup, go for it“, Zuckerberg, who appears in the documents as „MZ“, should have responded to a similar proposal, so: „Yes, do that“. In addition, the 250 PDF pages contain thought games on how software developers could pay for data access with money or their user data.
In the documents, which refer to the years 2012 to 2015, of a „Whitelisting“ among other things the services Netflix and Airbnb the speech, also the names of several dating apps like Badoo appear. By whitelisting, Facebook apparently allowed companies to use Facebook data that was not or was no longer available to other companies.
The documents are from the app developer Six4Three, which is involved in a lawsuit with Facebook. Facebook said last week, according to a Wall Street Journal article on the documents , that the documents would be presented by Six4Three in the process in a misleading and non-contextual way, and did not reflect the whole reality. Facebook does not sell user data, reiterated the online network again.
Six4Three had offered an app called „Pikinis“ that automatically searched for publicly available photos of Facebook users in bathing suits. This worked only as long as Facebook Apps granted access to data of friends of a user.
Annoyed about exceptions
This interface – which was also the prerequisite for the data scandal around Cambridge Analytica – sealed Facebook in 2015. Six4Three did not want to settle for that and went to court. In the process, the company denounced that there were occasional exceptions to this rule for companies, just for companies such as Netflix and Airbnb.
The documents are under lock and key in the US case. The Digital Committee of the British Parliament got at least a part of it in the hands.
Committee chairman Damian Collins said Wednesday they have not received any satisfactory responses from Facebook and are therefore releasing the papers now. Damian Collins has been trying in vain for months to get Zuckerberg for a hearing in London.
Mboe / dpa / AP / Reuters