Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied his social media network had ever sold users' data, rejecting an argument from a member of the British Parliament who released documents claiming they showed the company "whitelisted" third parties without users' consent.
"In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access," Zuckerberg posted Wednesday on Facebook. "This change meant that a lot of sketchy apps – like the quiz app that sold data to Cambridge Analytica – could no longer operate on our platform."
Some of the developers that were kicked off sued Facebook, Zuckerberg said, in hopes of getting more access to people's data.
Ultimately, Facebook "decided on a model where we continued to provide the developer platform for free and developers could choose to buy ads if they wanted," Zuckerberg added. "This model has worked well. Other ideas we considered but decided against included charging developers for usage of our platform, similar to how developers pay to use Amazon AWS or Google Cloud. To be clear, that's different from selling people's data."
British lawmaker Damian Collins, who chairs a committee on social media, has documents he seized from a firm that is suing Facebook, saying the items seem to show Facebook was involved in "whitelisting agreements."
"Facebook have clearly entered into whitelisting agreements with certain companies, which meant that after the platform changes in 2014/15 they maintained full access to friends data," Collins wrote in a note with the document dump, reports The Hill. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not."
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