Thousands of leaked Facebook documents show Mark Zuckerberg as ‘master of leverage’ in plan to trade user data

190408facebookdocumentsprivacymainkhf4a6bfef6b06cef6f61fdc00decbc67e.nbcnewsfp1200630
190408facebookdocumentsprivacymainkhf4a6bfef6b06cef6f61fdc00decbc67e.nbcnewsfp1200630

Facebook’s leaders seriously discussed selling access to user data — and privacy was an afterthought.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data, according to about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents largely spanning 2011 to 2015 and obtained by NBC News.

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.

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