These methods helped to consolidate Facebook's position as the leading social network platform between 2011 and 2015, the leak suggests. These reports have prompted Facebook to admit that it did, at the time, consider selling user data, which it ultimately decided against.
Facebook's history of securing its users privacy is far from pristine. Titled "15 Months of fresh hell inside Facebook" and co-authored by the magazine's editor in chief Nicholas Thompson, the article opens with George Soros's 2018 denunciation of social media giants in Davos, going on to claim that the "world had learned how Russian intelligence operatives used the platform to manipulate U.S. voters" while "Genocidal monks in Myanmar and a despot in the Philippines had taken a liking to the platform".
NBC's report notes about 400 of the 4,000 pages of the documents are already a matter of public record. In one case, Facebook allegedly gave Amazon premium access to data for its new smartphone, but phased out access for a messaging application that threatened a similar app Facebook managed.
Facebook landed on "user trust" and privacy as an explanation for why Facebook was changing its data policy.
Several negative stories about Facebook are filling the news vacuum after the Notre Dame fire, as the social media behemoth finds itself in the crosshairs of media and Democrats still seeking a scapegoat for the 2016 election.
The social media giant that just doesn't seem to evade headlines, granted access to its treasure trove of user data to its partners and denied it to competitors and rival apps.
Facebook, for its part, called the collection of documents "cherry picked" and said they were "selectively leaked".
Concerns about how Facebook protects personal data have been growing since it was revealed the company improperly shared information from 87 million users with the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Compensation included direct payment, advertising spending and data-sharing arrangements.
Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Despite these transgressions, Facebook hasn't been accused of breaking the law. NBC obtained access to roughly 4,000 pages of leaked documents, which they used to compile their report.
Experts said the documents appear to be the same ones obtained by the British Parliament in late 2018 as part of an investigation into Facebook.