Facebook keeps saying it doesn't sell user data. Britain's Parliament and internal documents suggest otherwise.
In November, parliament member Damian Collins seized secret Facebook documents that reportedly involved data privacy. And on Wednesday, Collins released results from an investigation into those documents, alleging they show Facebook "gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data," The Washington Post reports.
Facebook first had to submit these secret documents as part of a California lawsuit brought by small app developer Six4Three, per CBS News. In the suit, Six4Three alleged that Facebook stripped its access to user data because it wouldn't buy advertising services or give data it collected back to Facebook — allegations that are backed up by Collins' Wednesday release. The company did submit internal documents regarding its ad practices, but refused to release them publicly. Six4Three's founder actually handed the documents to Collins.
In the summary of Facebook's documents, Collins explicitly called out Facebook for "whitelisting" AirBnB, Netflix, and other apps. This allowed them to retain and keep using certain user data after a policy change claimed to remove all apps' access to it, per the Post. Facebook hasn't disputed the accuracy of Six4Three's documents, but did say they were "very misleading" in a statement last week. The company has not yet responded to the Post's request for comment in this most recent development.