Parliament seizes cache of Facebook documents in ‘unprecedented move’

It took action against Facebooko after investing $250,000 in an app. Six4Three alleges the cache shows Facebook was not only aware of the implications of its privacy policy, but actively exploited them, intentionally creating and effectively flagging up the loophole that Cambridge Analytica used to collect data. According to court documents, the company accuses Zuckerberg of attempting to "deliberately" mislead tens of thousands of software companies into "developing applications that generated substantial user growth and revenues for Facebook".

Damian Collins, head of a parliamentary inquiry into fake news and disinformation, quoted from internal Facebook emails seized from United States software company Six4Three under a rarely used parliamentary enforcement procedure.

Committee chair Damian Collins even sent the Commons serjeant at arms to the businessman's hotel - and forced him to go to Parliament in person.

Damian Collins, in charge of the hearing and committee, said in a Sunday tweet that he had reviewed the documents.

Facebook is saying first that Six4Three's case is without merit and second that for the UK Parliament to publish documents sealed by the U.S. courts would be hasty and wrong.

Those documents supposedly contained information on Facebook's data and privacy controls before the massive breach came into light.

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has "lost the trust of the global community to self-police", and that lawmakers have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable.

"We have very serious questions for Facebook. And it has not answered our questions about who knew what, when with regards to the Cambridge Analytica scandal", Collins said.

"The materials obtained by the DCMS committee are subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure", Facebook told the Observer.

But Mr Collins seems convinced they will prove relevant to the DCMS committee's inquiry into how another developer - Dr Aleksandr Kogan - was allowed to get access to data he handed to Cambridge Analytica.

"An unprecedented global grand committee comprising 22 representatives from seven parliaments will meet in London next week to put questions to Facebook about the online fake news crisis and the social network's own string of data misuse scandals", TechCrunch reported on Friday. "We have no further comment".

  • Jon Douglas