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Facebook Documents Show They Considered Selling Our Data

Facebook Considered Selling Our Data

Earlier this week you may have noticed reports about sensitive documents appertaining to Facebook being seized the UK Parliament. It was certainly a very strange one. Particularly since that while Parliament has these powers, they do not often choose to exercise them. Given Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to answer questions from a UK based committee though, I daresay many in Whitehall might have the daggers out for him!

Facebook, we should add, were deeply angered by the seizure and insisted that they were returned immediately. What’s that expression about no smoke without fire?…

Although the documents are not due to be made public until next week, an early report via The Verge suggests that the documents contain confirmation not of the social media site selling our details, but certainly a strong consideration of it!

2012-2014

The documents (largely e-mails) reveal that between 2012-2014, Facebook did discuss the possibility of doing this. A number of e-mails certainly seem to hint towards conversations with many major companies including Amazon. You can make of this what you will.

We should note that the e-mails do not appear to originate from Mark Zuckerberg. Additionally, it’s unclear if the suggestions were from one or multiple members of the senior team.

Mark Zuckerberg

We should, at this point, add some tempering to the story. For example, Mark Zuckerberg has regularly denied that user data was ever sold. In fact, he said to in front of the US Congress. In addition, and in fairness, the current evidence does seem to confirm that. These e-mails do, however, confirm that selling our data was, at least for a while, considered! No wonder the social media site didn’t want them to become public!

So, the good news is that no wrong doing appears to have taken place. That doesn’t, however, mean that it wasn’t considered.

What do you think? Do you think the social media site ever did sell our data? Is this the reason they wanted the documents returned? In addition, are you going to read them in full when released? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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