Parliament seizes internal Facebook documents from Six4Three

JD Lasica  Flickr

Britain's parliament has seized confidential Facebook documents from the developer of a now-defunct bikini photo searching app as it seeks answers from the social media company about its data protection policies.

The cache of documents, some of which may include correspondence between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company executives, stem from a lawsuit in California that outlines a litany of allegations against Facebook.

Damian Collins, head of a parliamentary inquiry into fake news and disinformation, quoted from internal Facebook emails seized from U.S. software company Six4Three under a rarely used parliamentary enforcement procedure. A security representative was sent to his hotel with a two-hour deadline to give the papers up.

The internal documents seized were obtained during a legal discovery process by Six4Three.

The committee has previously questioned whistle blowers and senior officials at Cambridge Analytica, the company that harvested data from millions of Facebook profiles without the consent of the users as part of attempts to predict voter behaviour.

Collins, who has not yet made the documents public, asked Allan about one item he said was of considerable public interest that suggests Facebook was alerted to possible Russian hacking years before it became a major issue.

In his email to Facebook open arrangement VP Richard Allen, which he posted on Twitter on Sunday evening, Mr. Collins said a council of the House could distribute these reports under the political benefit.

The firm is engaged with court action against Facebook in the USA, where the records were acquired through lawful methodology.

A BRITISH MP today claimed Facebook knew about potentially malicious Russian activity in 2014, long before such activity becomes public, during a parliamentary hearing where worldwide lawmakers grilled the company.

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has "lost the trust of the worldwide community to self-police", and that governments have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable. And it has not answered our questions about who knew what, when with regards to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Allan pleaded with Collins not to raise the material at the hearing, which MPs are entitled to do under Parliamentary privilege, "until we have further guidance from the court".

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