Facebook gave some companies preferential access to user data — including invites to friends in users’ networks — without clearly getting permission, according to excerpts from emails released by the U.K. Parliament Wednesday. The social media giant and its founder Mark Zuckerberg also mulled ways to charge outside companies for user data, the email excerpts show.
Apps from companies including Airbnb, Netflix and Lyft were “whitelisted” — allowing full access to users’ friends — even after Facebook said in 2015 it had phased out that feature.
…The emails also show CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussing ways to encourage users to share more on Facebook in a way that would “increase the value” of the network.
…Facebook maintains that it never sells user data, but many data-privacy advocates say the distinction between selling data and charging companies to access users based on their data is a rather fine line for practical purposes.