Who could have imagined that a creepy little app that scoured Facebook for pictures of women in bikinis might be the instrument that skewers the behemoth social network? Who, that is, besides Facebook executives and their lawyers? Until a little over a week ago, the company had successfully sequestered internal e-mails, which were obtained by the legal team of Ted Kramer, the founder of the app company Six4Three, during the discovery process in a 2015 lawsuit. At issue was Facebook’s policy of allowing third-party app developers to access the data of Facebook users’ friends—the very policy that enabled Cambridge Analytica to buy the data of eighty-seven million unwitting users on behalf of the Trump campaign. In Kramer’s case, his Pikinis app relied on that access; once Facebook changed its policy, in 2014, the app no longer worked. Kramer cried foul and sued Facebook for breach of contract. At the company’s request, the judge in the case ordered the records sealed to keep them, ironically, private. That changed on November 20th, when a parliamentary sergeant-at-arms showed up at Kramer’s London hotel room and escorted him to the halls of Westminster, where the Tory M.P. Damian Collins, the chairman of the Digital,… Read full this story
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