Facebook has said multiple times that it does not sell people's data, including in an op-ed in January from Zuckerberg in The Wall Street Journal. The company reiterated that point in a statement 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 general counsel, said in an emailed statement. "But the facts are clear: we've never sold people's data."
While it might not sell that data for financial benefits, Facebook has used its massive collection of data to its advantages in ways beyond sales.
The documents show Facebook considered several ways that third-party apps could compensate it for access to user data, according to NBC News, including ad spending, data sharing and direct payments. The company reportedly decided to grant access to partners that spent money on Facebook or shared their own data, as well as sharing data with app developers considered personal friends of Zuckerberg. The report found that Facebook would also withhold access to data for rival companies, including MessageMe, an app that was gaining popularity and could pose a threat to Facebook Messenger.
Watch this: Deactivating your Facebook account doesn't stop data collection
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.