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Facebook fights back following release of internal policies

(Image credit: Image Credit: Anthony Spadafora)

A few days ago, the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released documents which allegedly show Facebook giving app developers special access to user data. Now, Facebook is responding, saying the whole thing was taken out of context and does not portray the whole picture.

In an article posted on the Facebook newsroom, it was said that the change in policies from 2014 and 2015 was done to prevent app developers from getting personal information from users' friends.

“In some situations, when necessary, we allowed developers to access a list of the users' friends" but not those friends' private data,” it was said.

Another issue that was tackled by the UK’s Committee was Android and the collection of call and text logs. Facebook’s answer is that the whole deal is more benign than being interpreted, with the collection was only done to “do things like make better suggestions for people to call in Messenger and rank contact lists in Messenger and Facebook Lite." Facebook even says that it recently analysed the practice and said the data isn’t useful ‘after about a year’.

Zuckerberg is fine with being in the hot seat, but demands whoever covers what they do, does it with due diligence.

“I understand there is a lot of scrutiny on how we run our systems,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “That's healthy given the vast number of people who use our services around the world, and it is right that we are constantly asked to explain what we do. But it's also important that the coverage of what we do -- including the explanation of these internal documents -- doesn't misrepresent our actions or motives. This was an important change to protect our community, and it achieved its goal.”

You can find the documents released by the UK Committee on this link (opens in new tab), Facebook’s response here (opens in new tab) and Zuckerberg’s comments here (opens in new tab).

Image Credit: Anthony Spadafora

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.