A British lawmaker has released more than 200 pages of Facebook's confidential internal e-mails, which discuss paying for user data and allowing companies like Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft to access special platforms.
Damian Collins, a British MP who has been publicly critical of Facebook, released the e-mails Wednesday, along with some of his findings and noteworthy details.
These e-mails rarely reveal Facebook's internal operations. After a year of scandal, the social network now has to strike a balance between publicly declaring that it protects users'privacy and making profits through internal discussions.
A spokesman for the Facebook said the documents
These emails were collected in a lawsuit between Facebook and Six4Three, an application development company. The documents have been kept secret by a California court. But last month, when the founder of Six4Three visited Britain, his documents were confiscated by Collins and British law enforcement.
Here are some of the things that are revealed by email:
This is the key to Facebook's involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the scandal, a developer shared Facebook users'friends with the British research company.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) said in a post on Wednesday that the policy shift in 2015 was
However, Collins claims that after the policy shift of 2015, the company still signed a number of other companies
E-mail shows that companies such as Airbnb, Netflix and Lyft have all obtained the whitelist protocol. Facebook has an approval system to decide whether a company should be whitelist or not, and has more than once discussed whether to give it special treatment based on the company's advertising spending on Facebook.
Facebook responded to these allegations in a blog post Wednesday:
Collecting data fees from application developers
These emails show that Facebook has also discussed in detail how to charge application developers for access to user data, some of which are charged in the form of advertising fees.
During the months of 2012 and 2013, Zuckerberg expounded more than once on how to charge for data access and stressed the need to expand revenue. In an e-mail from Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, director of Facebook Platform Partnerships, the executive proposed authorizing companies that spend at least $250,000 a year on mobile advertising to access their user data.
Facebook said Wednesday,
Monitor competitors and acquisition targets
Facebook's Onavo provides a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) for mobile users and sends applications back to Facebook using data in the process.
Internal documents show that by analyzing these data, Facebook can closely monitor competing social media networks and acquisition targets. The company released growth statistics for Snapchat, Twitter, Skype and WhatsApp.
On Wednesday, the company said that, with regard to the information gathered by Onavo, we
Access to Android Phone Call Records
In 2015, Facebook established a new partnership with Android, enabling Facebook to access phone calls and text messages on Android phones. The internal e-mail above shows that Facebook accesses this information in order to improve dynamic information ranking and friends'suggestions and other functions.
Nevertheless, when Facebook's access to phone and text messages was disclosed earlier this year, users were shocked.
However, these emails show that Facebook executives have long anticipated user responses.
Michael Leber (Michael LeBeau), product manager, said at the time:
In fact, Facebook has been collecting calls and text messages from users for years. Facebook announced that it would delete any records for more than a year after being strongly opposed by the public at the beginning of this year.
The company said Wednesday: