Sensitive internal Facebook documents published by UK Parliament

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The emails come from a California court case, brought by the app maker Six4Three about Facebook's treatment of third party apps.

The emails were released by a committee of United Kingdom lawmakers investigating social media's role in the spread of fake news.

The company also apparently collected data about app use by phone users - apparently without their knowledge - to determine who its biggest rivals were and which companies it should aim to acquire. What's more, a 2018 review of the feature found that "the information is not as useful after about a year", which the company argues is really only good for low level tasks like sorting contact lists.

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. The app developer is suing Facebook over a change to the social network's privacy policies in 2015 that led Six4Three to shut down its app, Pikinis, which let users find photos of their friends in bathing suits by searching their friends list. The files were seized by United Kingdom authorities just over a week ago when Ted Kramer, founder of USA software firm Six4Three, was in London.

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The committee chair, Damian Collins, said the documents are relevant to his ongoing investigation into whether social media platforms were used to manipulate elections.

Zuckerberg also gave the personal nod for Facebook to cut off friend data access to Vine, the short video app owned by major rival Twitter.

Facebook has been keen to keep the documents out of the public realm - they are also now held under seal by a court in California - but last week Collins said Parliament would publish them if it felt it was in the public interest to do so.

Collins notes that a recurring theme in the 250-page cache of documents is that Facebook pushed the "idea of linking access to friends data to the financial value of the developers' relationship with Facebook".

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

"This specific feature allows people to opt in to giving Facebook access to their call and text messaging logs in Facebook Lite and Messenger on Android devices", Facebook said in its statement.

Facebook wants the laptop to be evaluated to determine what happened in the United Kingdom, to what extent the court order was breached, and how much of its confidential information has been divulged to the committee. Motherboard calls the almost 250 pages of documents "devastating" for Facebook, but the company says in a statement that the documents were gathered as part of a "baseless case" and "are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context".

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