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.”
Image Credit: Anthony Spadafora