As if Facebook needed more negative press, NBC News released a harsh report this week that details the company’s internal discussions about selling user data to app developers.
The report combed through about 4,000 pages of leaked documents spanning between 2011 and 2015 that came to light as part of a court case between Facebook and small startup Six4Three. The startup sued the social media giant in 2015 after it announced it would begin cutting off access to some user data. The documents, including private emails, webchats, presentations, meeting summaries, and more, detail how Mark Zuckerberg and his executives explored ways to profit off its vast trove of user data — including by directly selling it to its preferred app developers.
For its part, Facebook has accused Six4Three of selectively leaking documents to paint the company in a bad light, though the startup claims it’s only seeking answers regarding Facebook’s use of user data.
“Our case is about Zuckerberg’s decision to weaponize the reliance of companies on his purportedly neutral platform and to weaponize the private and sensitive data of billions of people,” Six4Three founder Ted Kramer told NBC News.
Even if Facebook is right, and Six4Three has an ax to grind against the tech giant, that doesn’t make the information contained in Facebook’s documents any less damaging. No matter how the company tries to spin the facts, it has shown a casual disregard for users’ data for a large portion of its history.
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