Facebook's seized files published by MPs

Credit Bloomberg

"We don't feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents", said Collins in a Twitter post accompanying the published emails.

The documents are thought to contain emails from Mark Zuckerberg.

The release covers 250 pages including the MPs' summary and exhibits including emails from figures including Mark Zuckerberg and internal Facebook documents.

Internal Facebook documents, previously seized by Britain, confirm that the tech giant made a habit of sharing user data with other firms without user consent and tried to avoid bad publicity by obfuscating its data vacuuming.

Parliament seized the documents from now defunct app developer Six4Three at the end of November during a trip by the company's founder to London. The accusation comes from key British lawmaker Damian Collins, chairman of the British Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

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.

Damian Collins, head of the committee, added that Facebook shut off access to data required by competing apps, conducted global surveys of the usage of mobile apps by customers possibly without their knowledge, and that a change to Facebook's Android app policy that resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made hard for users to know about. "As we've said many times, the documents Six4Three gathered for their baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context", said a spokeswoman for the company in a statement.

In terms of suffocating rivals, Mr Collins wrote: "The files show evidence of Facebook taking aggressive positions against apps, with the outcome that denying them access to data led to the failure of that business".

Facebook's change of platform in 2014-2015 allowed it to enter into "whitelisting" agreements with app developers, giving them access to user data, in particularly how users are linked as friends within the platform. The social network itself received data about how people were using third party apps in return.

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