Zuckerberg denies Facebook ever 'sold anyone's data'

Facebook's Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — States probe the tech giants Executives personally signed off on Facebook-Google ad collusion plot, states claim States push forward with Facebook antitrust case, reportedly probe VR unit MORE on Wednesday said the company has never sold user data after a member of the British Parliament released a trove of documents that he claimed shows the company gave special access to third parties without user consent.

In 2014, "we 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 wrote in a post on Facebook directly addressing British lawmaker Damian Collins and the mass of internal documents he released. 


"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," he said. "To be clear, that's different from selling people's data. We've never sold anyone's data."

Collins, who heads a British Parliament committee on social media, released a trove of documents he had seized from a firm suing Facebook, which Collins said seem to show that Facebook entered into "whitelisting agreements" with companies without its users' consent. 

"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 attached to the document dump. “It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not.”

Zuckerberg said Wednesday that certain developers were purged from the platform in 2014 because they were "sketchy." He noted that Facebook does not "let everyone develop on our platform" for a number of reasons.

"Some of the developers whose sketchy apps were kicked off our platform sued us to reverse the change and give them more access to people's data," he wrote. "We're confident this change was the right thing to do and that we'll win these lawsuits."

Facebook has been under intense scrutiny over its privacy policies and how it handles user data. 

Lawmakers in Britain tore into Zuckerberg for failing to appear personally before a parliamentary panel last month and some American lawmakers have urged increase regulatory oversight over the company.