Face­book data fears

The New Zealand Herald - - World -

In­ter­nal Face­book doc­u­ments re­leased by a Bri­tish par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee of­fer the clear­est ev­i­dence yet that the so­cial net­work has used its enor­mous trove of user data as a com­pet­i­tive weapon, of­ten in ways de­signed to keep its users in the dark.

Par­lia­ment’s me­dia com­mit­tee has ac­cused Face­book of cut­ting spe­cial deals with some app de­vel­op­ers to give them more ac­cess to data, while ic­ing out oth­ers that it viewed as po­ten­tial ri­vals.

In other doc­u­ments, com­pany ex­ec­u­tives dis­cussed how they were keep­ing the com­pany’s col­lec­tion and ex­ploita­tion of user data from its users.

The com­mit­tee re­leased more than 200 pages of doc­u­ments on the tech gi­ant’s in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions about the value of users’ per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. The cache in­cludes emails from CEO Mark Zucker­berg and other key mem­bers of his staff. The emails show Zucker­berg and other ex­ec­u­tives schem­ing to lever­age user data to favour com­pa­nies not con­sid­ered to be threats and to iden­tify po­ten­tial ac­qui­si­tions.

The com­pany’s crit­ics said the new rev­e­la­tions re­in­forced their con­cerns over what users ac­tu­ally know about how Face­book treats their data.

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