Officials also debated in emails whether to give app developers that spent money in advertising better access to its data, while simultaneously taking "aggressive positions" against apps that competed with them by denying them access to data.
Indeed, Facebook appeared to view access to user data as so valuable that CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally approved a decision to restrict a rival social networking platform from accessing it, according to internal emails. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine's access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it". "Sometimes the best way to enable people to share something is to have a developer build a special goal app or network for that type of content and to make that app social by having Facebook plug into it". He explained his rationale for releasing the emails in a tweet: "We don't feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents". The social network itself received data about how people were using third party apps in return.
Facebook also used Onavo (an Israeli analytics company it bought in 2013) to observe users' overall usage of its mobile apps without their approval or knowledge in order to figure out how many users had downloaded apps and how often they used them.
Facebook defended its practices in a statement. "Like any business, we had many of internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform". The statement adds, "The facts are clear: we've never sold people's data". He'd obtained the documents after compelling the founder of USA software company Six4Three to hand them over during a business trip to London.
Ted Kramer, the head of an app company Six4Three suing the social network, was last month ordered to hand over internal Facebook emails by Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.
But the documents also show discussions about giving special friend list access to particular companies, including Airbnb and Netflix, after it was no longer available by default to most developers.
Westminster has published secret documents which indicate Facebook collected records of its users' phone calls and text messages.
The documents had been sealed by a California court.
Samsung confirms Snapdragon 855 is its 5G answer
Verizon (and AT&T, and Sprint) has already confirmed that it will be welcoming 5G on the back of an unannounced Samsung smartphone .