Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the risks of sharing user data

Facebook's seized files published by MPs

Parliament has published internal Facebook documents that it seized as part of its "fake news" inquiry.

They include emails sent to and from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other senior Facebook executives. "It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not", Damian Collins, member of parliament and committee chair, said.

A California court had ordered that the emails be kept secret as part of the ongoing lawsuit against the social network, but Mr Kramer claims he was given no choice when confronted at his London hotel room by Parliament's Serjeant-at-Arms and threatened with imprisonment.

Facebook touted itself as championing privacy four years ago when it made a decision to restrict outsider developers' access to data about its users' friends.

Facebook had objected to their release.

"Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy whose vice president was Republican strategist Steve Bannon, gained access to data on 87 million users in ways that Facebook has said was improper but resembled a common practice at the time among app developers", the Post reports. Facebook also took an "aggressive" position when dealing with rival apps, Collins said, by denying them access to data that meant that businesses would fail.

Facebook's seized files published by MPs
U.K. releases Facebook emails about data privacy

Facebook has been keen to keep the documents out of the public realm - they are also now held under seal by a court in California - but last week Collins said Parliament would publish them if it felt it was in the public interest to do so.

In one email, dated January 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has disputed such allegations in the past.

"To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard as possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features of the upgrade of their app", the summary said.

The increased exposure of private data generated more revenue for app developers, and this outcome was the key driver behind the changes made by Facebook. "I think we leak info to developers, but I just can't think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real issue for us".

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