Mark Zuckerberg utilized your Facebook information as ‘bargaining chip’ versus competitors, report states

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg managed efforts to manage competitors with its user information, according to NBC News.


James Martin/CNET

Facebook supposedly utilized its huge chest of user information as utilize in offers it struck with outdoors business — giving access to some partners and rejecting it to rivals and competing apps.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg managed the social media’s efforts to manage rivals by dealing with user information as a “bargaining chip,” according to an NBC News extensive report on Tuesday.

NBC stated it got approximately 4,000 dripped Facebook files, primarily from 2011 to 2015. The files, which supposedly come from a lawsuit in between Facebook and app designer Six4Three, consist of e-mails, chat logs, discussions, spreadsheets and conference summaries, according to NBC News. Some files were formerly launched by the UK Parliament as part of its examination into the Cambridge Analytica information scandal, NBC News stated.

Facebook has actually stated numerous times that it does not offer individuals’s information, consisting of in an op-ed in January from Zuckerberg in The Wall Street Journal. The business repeated that point in a declaration Tuesday.

“As we’ve said many times, Six4Three — creators of the Pikinis app — cherry picked these documents from years ago as part of a lawsuit to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app’s users. The set of documents, by design, tells only one side of the story and omits important context,” Paul Grewal, Facebook vice president and deputy basic counsel, stated in an emailed declaration. “But the facts are clear: we’ve never sold people’s data.”

While it may not offer that information for monetary advantages, Facebook has actually utilized its huge collection of information to its benefits in methods beyond sales.

The files reveal Facebook thought about numerous manner ins which third-party apps might compensate it for access to user information, according to NBC News, consisting of advertisement costs, information sharing and direct payments. The business supposedly chose to give access to partners that invested cash on Facebook or shared their own information, along with sharing information with app designers thought about individual buddies of Zuckerberg.

The report discovered that Facebook would likewise keep access to information for competing business, consisting of MessageMe, an app that was getting appeal and might position a risk to Facebook Messenger. 


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As the world’s largest social network, Facebook controls data on more than 2 billion people, and who has access to it. Some lawmakers have suggested that Facebook get broken up to diminish its hold on social media. The tech giant also owns Instagram and WhatsApp. 

Politicians have also called out Facebook over mismanaging people’s sensitive data, as critics argue that the social network values profits over privacy. The company has made multiple attempts to convince the public it’s changed, including the creation of a series of pop-ups to explain Facebook’s privacy practices

In March, Zuckerberg said that Facebook would put more focus on privacy, viewing it as the social network’s future. 

But the leaked documents show that for Facebook, privacy seems to be more of a public relations ploy than a concern about its users. 

When Facebook cut off data access to its rivals, for example, it released public statements that it was protecting user privacy. And after it became public that Cambridge Analytica was siphoning off millions of people’s data through online quizzes, Facebook limited developer access to data.  

Despite those shifts, Facebook has still been sharing heaps of data with companies like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify.

Originally published at 6:47 a.m. PT. 
Update, 7:52 a.m.: Adds details on Facebook.
Update, 9:24 a.m.: Adds comment from Facebook.

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