MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The secret Facebook documents have just been published by British Parliament

Posted by M. C. Fox on December 5, 2018

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-documents-six4three-case-published-british-parliament-2018-12

Damian Collins, a Conservative politician who is chair of the committee, prefaced the papers with a summary of what he sees as some of the most explosive revelations. These included:

  • Facebook entering “whitelisting agreements” that gave companies including Netflix and Airbnb access to friends data after Facebook introduced new privacy policies in 2014-2015.
  • Collins said a recurring theme of the papers was the “idea of linking access to friends data to the financial value of the [app] developers’ relationship with Facebook.”
  • They show Facebook “taking aggressive positions against apps,” Collins said. This included email evidence showing that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally approved a decision to deny access to data for the now-defunct Twitter video-looping app, Vine.
  • Facebook made it difficult for users to know about changes it made to its Android app because they were controversial. The changes enabled Facebook to collect a record of calls and texts sent by users.

Collins obtained the documents from Ted Kramer, the founder of a software company called Six4Three, while Kramer was on business in the UK last month…

Facebook responds

A Facebook spokesman said: “As we’ve said many times, the documents Six4Three gathered for their baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context.

“We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers. Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform.

“But the facts are clear: we’ve never sold people’s data.”

Be seeing you

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