Facebook gave Netflix and Airbnb preferential data access to data, documents reveal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in April about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. The British Parliament has released

UK Parliament published excerpts from sensitive internal Facebook documents on Wednesday as part of its investigation into fake news and the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal.

The emails feature in a case being heard in a California court filed against the giant by the now-defunct United States app developer Six4Three.

A British lawmaker released a trove of internal Facebook emails, revealing how the social media platform favored certain companies, including Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft, by offering them special access to user data.

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

Though filed under seal and redacted in the lawsuit, Collins said the material needed to be made public because "they raise important questions about how Facebook treats users' data, their policies for working with app developers, and how they exercise their dominant position in the social media market".

Committee chair Damian Collins said it was not clear from the private exchanges between Facebook and app developers whether users were aware that their friends list and other private information was being used.

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Facebook touted itself as championing privacy four years ago when it chose to restrict outsider developers' access to data about its users' friends.

"Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform", Facebook said in an emailed statement.

The emails show Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg mulling charging app developers for data access in 2012. "I think we leak info to developers, but I just can't think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real issue for us".

The documents show an exchange between Zuckerberg and senior executive Justin Osofsky in 2013, in which they made a decision to stop giving friends' data access to Vine on the day that social media rival Twitter launched the video-sharing service.

In this bombshell dossier, Facebook's staff discuss rolling out an app update which lets users upload call and text information to help the social network recommend friends they might know. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine's access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it".

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