Facebook disputes Six4Three’s claims, and said the documents it obtained “are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context.”
“We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC in an emailed statement.
“Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform. But the facts are clear: we’ve never sold people’s data.”
Facebook also responded to some of the emails in a blog post, saying that, while it “explored multiple ways to build a sustainable business with developers,” it decided against charging developers for API access. The firm also said its decision to target competitors line Vine was to “restrict apps built on top of our platform that replicated our core functionality,” but added it will now “remove this out-of-date policy.”
Zuckerberg also posted an update on his Facebook profile, saying that, while it considered things like making developers pay for access to user data, it ultimately didn’t, and “never sold anyone’s data.”
As for regulation, Facebook’s chief said at a U.S. congressional hearing earlier this year that he was open to regulation so long as it’s the “right regulation.”
Christian Wigand, spokesman for rule of law, the charter of fundamental rights, justice, consumers and gender equality, employment and social affairs at the European Commission, said it was down to individual member states’ data privacy watchdogs to enforce regulatory action.
“The EU has strong data protection rules in place and we expect all companies to comply with them,” he told CNBC in an emailed statement Thursday. “The enforcement of data protection rules is in the hands of the data protection authorities.”