Facebook leaders gave big tech firms user data access, says UK lawmakers’ leak
London, Dec 6: Social media giant Facebook might find itself in new trouble. According to reports, its leaders gave certain big tech firms access to the users' data besides refusing such access to its competitors, including video app Vine which the social media giant had targeted soon after it was launched by another social media platform Twitter.
According to Washington-based NPR, the two revelations about Facebook's business practices were found in over 200 pages of the giant's internal mails and documents for the period between 2012-15 that were released on Wednesday, December 5, by British lawmakers.
Facebook came under a severe criticism a few months ago over its handling of the users' privacy. Its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to face law-makers after the social media giant revealed that a whopping 87 million users had their data breached as they were shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that had worked with the campaign of US President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
"Facebook has long said it does not sell user data - and it reiterated that statement Wednesday, saying the newly released documents should not be taken out of context," the NPR report added.
UK MP Damian Collins said while releasing the records that they didn't feel that Facebook had answered them straight on important questions. He asked whether the social media giant used data as a tool to punish competitors and reward advertisers.
Collins particularly highlighted one email exchange from January 2013 when Justin Osofsky from the social media giant noted about Vine, a short-video platform which allowed the users to find Facebook friends on the app. He said unless anyone objected, they would shut down the friends' API access, adding that they have prepared a reactive PR. Zuckerberg gave a go-ahead to it, said Collins, according to the NPR report.