Leaked Facebook Documents Show How The Company Leverages User Data

Facebook is no stranger to bad publicity, but it found itself the focus of particularly negative attention this week after NBC News released almost 7,000 pages of internal Facebook documents. These emails, web chats, notes and presentations paint a picture of a company that is blatantly unafraid to profit off its users’ private information.

According to the report, Facebook gave Amazon special access to user data because the tech giant purchased Facebook advertising. Meanwhile, Facebook cut off access to companies that it thought could become competitors.

Taken together, [the documents] show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook users’ data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over the companies it partnered with,” NBC News reporters Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar wrote. “In some cases, Facebook would reward partners by giving them preferential access to certain types of user data while denying the same access to rival companies.”

None of this is necessarily surprising, but the brazenness and paranoia found in the documents certainly are. Facebook talks a good game when it comes to protecting user info, but as this leak makes clear, its true priorities lie with its business partners.

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