upnorth

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#1
Emails written by Facebook's chief and his deputies show the firm struck secret deals to give some developers special access to user data while refusing others, according to MPs.

A cache of internal documents has been published online by a parliamentary committee. It said the files also showed Facebook had deliberately made it "as hard as possible" for users to be aware of privacy changes to its Android app. Facebook had objected to their release.

It said that the documents had been presented in a "very misleading manner" and required additional context. The emails were obtained from the chief of Six4Three - a software firm that is suing the tech giant - and were disclosed by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee as part of its inquiry into fake news. About 250 pages have been published, some of which are marked "highly confidential". Damian Collins MP, the chair of the committee, highlighted several "key issues" in an introductory note. He wrote that:
  • Facebook allowed some companies to maintain "full access" to users' friends data even after announcing changes to its platform in 2014/2015 to limit what developers' could see. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook had been aware that an update to its Android app that let it collect records of users' calls and texts would be controversial. "To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features," Mr Collins wrote
  • Facebook used data provided by the Israeli analytics firm Onavo to determine which other mobile apps were being downloaded and used by the public. It then used this knowledge to decide which apps to acquire or otherwise treat as a threat
  • there was evidence that Facebook's refusal to share data with some apps caused them to fail
  • there had been much discussion of the financial value of providing access to friends' data
Facebook said Six4Three had "cherry-picked" the documents and claimed they had omitted "important context".
 

upnorth

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#4
Every few days there seems to be a fresh accusation or leak that paints the social network in the worst possible light and calls into question whether it poses a threat to its members, wider society and even democracy itself.

The latest barrage came in the form of a tranche of "confidential" internal emails published online by MPs, who have been smarting that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg refused to testify before them. As Damian Collins, the chair of the Parliamentary committee responsible, put it, if they could not get "straight answers" from Mr Zuckerberg then at least the emails could reveal how his firm treats users' data and protects its "dominant position". Mr Collins claimed the documents prove that the social network continued giving some favoured apps access to users' friends' data after a cut-off point that was supposed to protect its members' privacy.
Facebook defends Zuckerberg's exposed emails

More juicy information on the case in " Similar Threads " below.
 

DeepWeb

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#8
Zuckerberg's quite the actor it seems. All doe-eyed and feigning ignorance about his company in front of Congress and the media but once he's back behind closed doors he's absolutely ruthless in the pursuit of maximising Facebook's revenue.
This. He fooled the entire Senate acting like a clueless teenager who built the entirety of Facebook in his basement didn't even know all that bad bad data mining was happening and boohoo he's promising to make everything better lol...

Facebook is a data broker. Period.
 

Arequire

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This. He fooled the entire Senate acting like a clueless teenager who built the entirety of Facebook in his basement didn't even know all that bad bad data mining was happening and boohoo he's promising to make everything better lol...

Facebook is a data broker. Period.
It really is a shame the DoJ has pretty much given up prosecuting individuals who knowingly lie to Congress.
 

BryanB

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#10
That seemed honest and revealing, like a man with no worries, he has so much money and even if all everyone is saying against Facebook is true it still hasn't broken any laws, when we get a raw view behind the scene of business it seems immoral, unfortunately, that's ok.
 

Lockdown

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#12
The people using Facebook don't care. If they did care, then they wouldn't use it. Facebook is such a priority in peoples' lives that they freak-out when it goes down. Remember when it went down for over an hour ? It made world news everywhere. The data controversies rarely make the news. If you know something is a scam, and you keep using it, then what does that make you ?
 

TerrakionSmash

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#14
The people using Facebook don't care. If they did care, then they wouldn't use it. Facebook is such a priority in peoples' lives that they freak-out when it goes down. Remember when it went down for over an hour ? It made world news everywhere. The data controversies rarely make the news. If you know something is a scam, and you keep using it, then what does that make you ?
News is biased towards the novel. I guess Facebook's doings with data ain't news and people are already desentisized on it.
 

upnorth

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#16
Facebook could become a threat to democracy without tougher regulation, the former head of intelligence agency GCHQ has said.

Robert Hannigan told the BBC the social media giant was more interested in profiting from user data than "protecting your privacy". It comes after MPs this week accused Facebook of striking secret deals over user data. The firm has also been criticised for its handling of fake news. In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hannigan said: "This isn't a kind of fluffy charity providing free services. It's is a very hard-headed international business and these big tech companies are essentially the world's biggest global advertisers, that's where they make their billions. "So in return for the service that you find useful they take your data... and squeeze every drop of profit out of it." Asked if Facebook was a threat to democracy, Mr Hannigan said: "Potentially yes. I think it is if it isn't controlled and regulated. "But these big companies, particularly where there are monopolies, can't frankly reform themselves. It will have to come from outside."
Facebook 'could threaten democracy'
 

Eddie Morra

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#18
If you're still using Facebook then you don't care as much as you make out about how they use your data and the privacy guidelines. You should know by now how it is, so simply do not use Facebook if you do not agree with their practices.

Facebook are going to find ways to make money one way or another, and they'll continue to do this until their dying breath. Not many people will pay for Facebook as a service, and ratings have been going down over the years as it is because of other social media platforms getting attention (also leading to Facebook acquiring several of them with the hope of making more of a profit than loss from buying them).