Data: FB ‘picks favourites’
FACEBOOK Inc offered some companies, including Netflix and Airbnb, access to data about users’ friends it did not make available to most other apps in 2015, according to documents released by a British lawmaker who said the social media company dodged questions about privacy practices and market dominance.
The 223 pages released on Wednesday were internal communications from 2012 to 2015 between company leaders, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, providing fresh evidence and sparking new political scrutiny about previously aired allegations that Facebook has picked favourites and engaged in anti-competitive behavior.
Facebook said it stood by its decisions. “The facts are clear. We’ve never sold people’s data,” it said.
The company said it would relax one “out-of-date” policy that restricted competitors’ use of its data. Previously, “Mark level signoff” would have been required for an exemption to the policy, according to one document, referring to Zuckerberg.
The documents show that Facebook tracked growth of competitors and denied them access to key data. Zuckerberg agreed to senior executive Justin Osofsky’s request in 2013 to stop giving friends’ list access to Vine on the day that social media rival Twitter launched the video-sharing service.
Dating app Badoo, Netflix and Airbnb were among companies “whitelisted” for access to data about users’ friends, the documents showed. Netflix, Airbnb, and Badoo did not respond to requests for comment. — Reuters.