Facebook wielded user data to reward, punish rivals, emails show

Facebook wielded user data to reward, punish rivals, emails show

"Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy whose vice president was Republican strategist Steve Bannon, gained access to data on 87 million users in ways that Facebook has said was improper but resembled a common practice at the time among app developers", the Post reports.

The UK parliament's select media committee published more than 200 pages of internal Facebook emails it has acquired while probing how the giant was being used to manipulate major election results The UK parliament's select media committee published more than 200 pages of internal Facebook emails it has acquired while probing how the giant was being used to manipulate major election results.

The documents show that Facebook tracked growth of competitors and denied them access to user data available to others.

-Mark Zuckerberg wanted "full reciprocity" between Facebook and app developers i.e. you share all your data on users with us, and we'll share all of ours with you. When Twitter launched six-second video clip platform Vine, Zuckerberg approved revoking their access to Facebook's API.

"Yup, go for it", Zuckerberg responded.

"Sometimes the best way to enable people to share something is to have a developer build a special goal app or network for that type of content and to make that app social by having Facebook plug into it", Zuckerberg wrote in 2012.

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.

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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.

Facebook is accused of using this data to assess "not just how many people had downloaded apps, but how often they used them. It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not", the summary states.

Parliament seized the documents from now defunct app developer Six4Three at the end of November during a trip by the company's founder to London.

The documents were part of a California lawsuit filed by app developer Six4Three.

But the documents also show discussions about giving special friend list access to particular companies, including Airbnb and Netflix, after it was no longer available by default to most developers. "We've never sold people's data".

Facebook had been aware that an update to its Android app that let it collect records of users' calls and texts would be controversial.

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