Internal Facebook emails discuss payments for data, special access

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma (not pictured), at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2016. 

Shu Zhang | Reuters

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma (not pictured), at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2016. 

A British lawmaker has released more than 200 pages of confidential, internal Facebook emails revealing discussions of payments for user data and special access for certain companies, including Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft.

Damian Collins, a British Member of Parliament and vocal critic of Facebook, published the emails Wednesday alongside a summary of his findings and some of the more notable details.

Facebook entered into “white list” agreements with companies that allowed them to maintain “full access to friends data” after Facebook restricted data sharing in 2015 to exclude information on a user’s friends, Collins alleges. Facebook also held serious and detailed discussions about charging developers for access to user data, in part through advertising fees, the emails show.

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “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.”

The documents are under seal in a California Court, where mobile app developer Six4Three is suing Facebook, but Collins seized the documents from the founder of Six4Three while he was visiting the UK last month.

2018-12-05 15:59:00

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