Leaked documents from a civil suit against Facebook show how the social network aimed to employ user data as a tool for bargaining and to manipulate competitors, NBC News reported on Wednesday. Some 7,000 pages of documents reveal how Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and his team harnessed users’ personal information to reward partners by giving them preferential data, while depriving rivals of the same sort of information, it reported.
NBC said the emails, notes and other documents dated as far back as 2011 and were supposed to be kept out of the public eye pending the civil case in California. They show, for example, how Amazon received special data access after purchasing advertising on Facebook, while an app called MessageMe was denied data after growing so large it became a competitor.
While acting out of self-motivation, Facebook planned to portray the moves as protective of user privacy, the documents showed. The lawsuit was filed by a now defunct start-up called Six4Three.
The suit accuses Facebook of abusing its power over user data, although most of the documents filed in the case have been sealed by a judge at Facebook’s request.