Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the risks of sharing user data

Facebook allowed tech firms special access to user data documents show

The documents - which includes internal emails sent by senior executives - were obtained from the chief of a software firm that is suing the tech giant.

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

Parliament has published internal Facebook documents that it seized as part of its "fake news" inquiry.

Six4Three's founder, Ted Kramer, had obtained them as part of a legal discovery process in a US lawsuit against Facebook that his company has brought against the social network in California.

The memo noted that Facebook whitelisted certain apps, so that even after it changed its privacy policy in 2014/2015, some developers were still able to access data belonging to their users' friends.

Facebook also used its position as user data provider to affect the businesses of its competitors in social media, like Twitter, the report said.

Damian Collins MP, the chair of the parliamentary committee involved, highlighted several "key issues" in an introductory note.

In a statement, Facebook said that these documents have been "presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context", and now Zuckerberg himself has weighed in.

In January 2013, Facebook VP Justin Osofsky emailed Zuckerberg about the now-defunct social media app Vine, suggesting that Facebook "shut down their friends API access".

Facebook warned that the cache of documents alone weren't enough on their own to understand the full story of the decisions it made and how they were reached. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not".

"We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends' data with developers", said a spokeswoman.

"To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features of the upgrade of their app", the summary said. "Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform". "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".

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