Facebook collected records of users' text and phone calls, secret documents reveal

Pauline Gross
December 5, 2018

These were sealed by the courts, but United Kingdom authorities seized them from the plaintiff in that lawsuit while he was in London as part of their investigation into Facebook's practices and handling of user data.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. attends the Viva Tech start-up and technology gathering at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris.

Damian Collins, head of the committee, added that Facebook shut off access to data required by competing apps, conducted global surveys of the usage of mobile apps by customers possibly without their knowledge, and that a change to Facebook's Android app policy that resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made hard for users to know about. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not".

"As we've said many times, Six4Three - creators of the Pikinis app - cherrypicked these documents from years ago as part of a lawsuit to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app's users".

"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.

Facebook is accused of using this data to assess "not just how many people had downloaded apps, but how often they used them".

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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.

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".

In one email, dated January 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there.

Zuckerberg's response, according to the email, was to "go for it".

Fox News has reached out to Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix with requests for comment.

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