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UK Parliament forces executive to hand over internal Facebook documents

Mark Zuckerberg consented to facing the European Parliament in May 2018. (Source: CNBC/Gizmodo)
Mark Zuckerberg consented to facing the European Parliament in May 2018. (Source: CNBC/Gizmodo)
The UK Parliament has seized important internal Facebook documents from an executive of the software start-up Six4Three. The unprecedented move is believed to be partly in response for Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to stand before British politicians and answer questions in regard to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is also facing accusations that employees knew about privacy policy loopholes and assisted in exploiting them.

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A British Parliament committee has managed to get hold of potentially damning papers regarding Facebook and its operations. In an unusual move, a parliamentary official was sent to the London hotel where an executive from Six4Three was staying and insisted the documents were handed over. According to the report from The Observer, the executive refused and had to be escorted to parliament to be faced with warnings of fines and imprisonment if he didn’t comply.

The dramatic move by British parliamentarians seems to be in retaliation for Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to face questions in regard to Facebook’s involvement with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. Six4Three is involved in a court action against Facebook at the moment, which is why the executive in question had the now seized documents on his person. The software company claims Facebook chiefs were well aware of how to manipulate the social network’s privacy policy, something which Facebook denies.

However, the Commons Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Committee that currently has the documents may not be able to fully reveal their contents. The papers are subject to a San Mateo Superior Court protective order and Facebook has requested the DCMS Committee does not review the documents and returns them. But as pointed out in The Observer’s article, it’s the UK Parliament that has jurisdiction over legal affairs in London, and it remains to be seen how the committee will proceed with the seized information.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > UK Parliament forces executive to hand over internal Facebook documents
Daniel R Deakin, 2018-11-25 (Update: 2018-11-25)