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Analysis Emails released today purport to show Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussing how to squeeze more cash from companies that want to tap into the platform's data goldmine.
The memos also show that staff deliberately hid the amount of data the Facebook Android app was slurping, and Zuck personally giving the OK to shut down Twitter's access to the Friends API after it acquired video-hosting service Vine.
Emails - Today - Parliament - Digital - Culture
These emails were published today by the British Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee after the panel seized them from a US exec, Ted Kramer, who was visiting London last month.
Kramer obtained the documents during the discovery phase of a bitter legal battle between Facebook and his biz, bikini-picture app biz Six4Three, which alleges Facebook behaved in an anti-competitive and misleading way.
Kramer - Six4Three - Facebook - Tap - Graph
Kramer and Six4Three allege that Facebook mooted shutting off the tap in its Graph API since 2012, despite dangling the mass data as a way to get devs to use the platform.
When the tap was eventually switched off in 2014, it scuppered Six4Three's business. Some companies – including Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan – were granted a year or so's grace period after the 2014 cut-off date. This was used by Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan's GSR app to slurp data on 87 million people that was then sold to Cambridge Analytica.
Six4Three - Facebook - Grounds - Offers - Policies
Six4Three is suing Facebook on the grounds it issued misleading offers initially, and that its policies were anti-competitive.
Damian Collins, chairman of the committee, issued a brief note at the top of the 250-page document setting out what he sees as the main issues.
Apps - Competitors - Discussions - Value - Friends
These include whitelisting certain apps and targeting competitors; discussions over the value of friends data and data reciprocity; and ways to dodge bad PR related to app changes.
A number of the emails are said to come direct from the boss...
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