Internal documents from Facebook reveal how he struggled to sell user data | Technology



Dozens of emails and internal Facebook documents between 2012 and 2015 show the debate in the company on how to monetize the growing amount of data of its users. The revelation comes from the Committee of the British Parliament that is in charge of investigating the case of Cambridge Analytica. Last week Mark Zuckerberg declined to travel to London to testify about these documents.

Facebook allowed access to their data to companies such as AirBnB or Netflix after closing them for the rest of the developers: "They will allow us to see 'all the friends', not just the connected friends," wrote a Netflix employee in February 2015. "It is not clear how Facebook decided which companies should continue to have access to the data and which ones should not," says Deputy Damian Collins, chairman of the Parliament committee.

Collins announced in a tweet his decision to publish the documents: "I think there is a considerable public interest in publishing these documents. They raise important questions about how Facebook uses data, its policies for working with app developers and how they exercise their dominant position in the social media market. "

The candid internal discussions on Facebook about how to extract economic benefits from users' data can be seen in the messages: "I've been thinking a lot about the platform's business model this weekend," wrote Mark Zuckerberg in an email. in October 2012. "Login with Facebook is always free. Putting content on Facebook is always free. Reading anything, including friends, costs a lot of money. Maybe in the order of $ 0.10 per user each year. " According to Zuckerberg that money could be paid with ads on the platform or, if not enough, "directly pay a fee."

The lack of understanding of the possible consequences of his decisions is especially illuminating today, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal: "I am skeptical that there is as much danger of data leakage as you think," Zuckerberg also wrote in October 2012. "I think that We filter information to developers, but I can not think of any instance where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real problem for us. Do you have any examples of this? "In 2012, if it is public, there have not been any leaks yet. The case of Cambridge Analytica would be the following year.

In 2014 Facebook would close access to its platform to all developers except some chosen ones.

Parliament achieved the internal documents of Facebook by a rarely used process: the parliamentary weapons sergeant visited the founder of the Six4Three apps development company at his hotel in London at the end of November. There he announced that he was obliged to give up the documentation he had on Facebook, despite being a US citizen. Six4Three had documentation after reporting to Facebook in the United States.

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