Facebook allowed tech firms special access to user data, documents show

Zuckerberg defends Facebook in new data breach controversy

Zuckerberg defends Facebook in new data breach controversy

The documents - which includes internal emails sent by senior executives - were obtained from the chief of a software firm that is suing the tech giant.

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.

Collins has been among leaders of a British inquiry into fake news on social media, one of the many issues that has brought Facebook into the crosshairs of governments in several countries.

Committee chair Damian Collins said it was not clear from the private exchanges between Facebook and app developers whether users were aware that their friends list and other private information was being used.

A British lawmaker released a trove of internal Facebook emails, revealing how the social media platform favored certain companies, including Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft, by offering them special access to user data.

The documents, which had been sealed by a California court, led lawmakers to conclude that Facebook undertook deals with third party apps that continued to allow access to personal data.

Facebook, which has described the Six4Three case as baseless, said the released communications are misleading without additional context, but did not elaborate.

"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.

In one email, dated January 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there.

Facebook warned that the cache of documents alone weren't enough on their own to understand the full story of the decisions it made and how they were reached.

"We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends' data with developers", said a spokeswoman.

In this bombshell dossier, Facebook's staff discuss rolling out an app update which lets users upload call and text information to help the social network recommend friends they might know. "We've never sold people's data".

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