The UK parliament which is carrying out an enquiry against social media giant Facebook for circulating fake news has recently published a cache of documents that include the firm’s internal correspondence and emails between Mark Zuckerberg and staff. The email cache of around 250 pages that are marked “highly confidential” were obtained from chief of a software firm which is suing Facebook and the firm has objected to their public release. Parliamentary committee’s chair MP Damian Collins highlighted a few key issues in his introductory note along with documents while publishing them.
Facebook has allowed some partner firms complete access to friends’ data of users even after announcing that new changes would limit what they could see. It remains unclear if user consent was obtained before doing this or criteria followed to decide which partners could be whitelisted.
As Facebook was aware that update to on its Android app which allowed it collate users’ calls and messages could become controversial, it made it difficult for users to understand that it was part of the new app’s underlying features to reduce presspersons from noticing it.
Used data analytics firm Onavo’s assistance to understand which mobile apps were the most popular among public and then used this information to understand which apps could be purchased to enhance their business model or perceive it as a threat to their own business interests. The refusal of Facebook to share data with some applications led to their downfall.
Facebook responded to the private data release with a statement which said that information was presented in a misleading manner and people require more information for understanding the context in which it was written. Spokesperson for Facebook asserted that after platform changes were made in 2015 users cannot share friends’ data with its developers and the email published in the article showcase regular conversation about how to build sustainable business for their platform.