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

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Internal emails at Facebook Inc., including those involving Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, were published online by a committee of United Kingdom lawmakers investigating social media's role in the spread of fake news.

Facebook has refuted six specific areas, as laid out by the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Damian Collins, in a recent blog post. Kramer has been in a legal battle with Facebook since 2015 over developer access to user data.

Facebook also used its position as user data provider to affect the businesses of its competitors in social media, like Twitter, the report said. "In some situations, when necessary, we allowed developers to access a list of the users' friends", the company said.

Collins notes that a recurring theme in the 250-page cache of documents is that Facebook pushed the "idea of linking access to friends data to the financial value of the developers' relationship with Facebook".

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The company also pushed back on this point, characterizing the emails as "cherrypicked" and adding: "Instead of requiring developers to buy advertising - we ultimately settled on a model where developers did not need to purchase advertising to access APIs and we continued to provide the developer platform for free".

MPs have released documents relating to Facebook which suggest the company deliberately suffocated rivals with its business practices.

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.

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.

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"Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their friends API access today".

"We've prepared reactive PR", Osofsky wrote, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it". "The set of documents, by design, tells only one side of the story and omits important context".

Facebook's staff also discuss "exploring a path" where call log information was requested without asking permission from the phone's owner.

Facebook had objected to their release.

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The social media behemoth launched a public campaign in 2014 aimed at easing user concerns about data breaches.

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