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Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends

Read the full article on NBC.

Facebook’s leaders seriously discussed selling access to user data — and privacy was an afterthought. Leaked internal Facebook documents show that the plans to sell access to user data were discussed for years and received support from Facebook’s most senior executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

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.

Read the full article on NBC.

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