Mark Zuckerberg reportedly mulled making 100 deals just to work out the dollar value of user data

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once considered making deals with third-party developers just to help him find out how much users’ data is worth, according to an NBC News report.

It said the social network’s boss once mulled 100 deals with app developers for potentially selling access to user data. In one message highlighted by the publication, Zuckerberg says the goal “wouldn’t be deals themselves,” but learning “what developers would actually pay.”

Zuckerberg reportedly said the deals would help Facebook decide the “real market value” of Facebook’s data on users, and help it set a “public rate” for developers. Facebook ultimately decided not to go forward with such a strategy, the company told NBC.

The CEO has said in the past that Facebook would “never” sell people’s information without their consent.

According to the documents obtained by NBC, Zuckerberg was described by one executive as being a “master of leverage.”

The documents in question stem from a California court case between Facebook and Six4Three, which developed an app that let people pay to find pictures of users in swimsuits. Six4Three’s app was shut down in 2015 after Facebook changed its policies around the sharing of user data with third-party app developers.

Some of the documents had already been released by U.K. lawmaker Damian Collins, who has been probing Facebook’s data practices. NBC says the new documents were anonymously leaked to U.K. investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, and then shared with a handful of media outlets.

Facebook has said in the past that the documents were “cherry-picked” and misleading. NBC said it wasn’t able to confirm whether the documents reflect a “complete picture.”

Facebook was engulfed in scandal last year following revelations over the improper sharing of user data with now-defunct political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Politicians around the world have called for increased regulation since, with some even suggesting a breakup of big tech firms, to combat the industry’s privacy problem.

Read the full NBC News report on the internal Facebook documents here.

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