NEWS26 November 2018

Facebook internal documents seized by parliament

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector Technology UK

UK – MPs investigating the Cambridge Analytica data scandal have seized a cache of Facebook documents.

Cracked phone screen showing Facebook logo alonsgide laptop and glasses

Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, implemented rarely used parliamentary powers to demand that the founder of US software firm Six4Three hand over documents, according to The Observer, which first reported the news.

The Observer said the documents are alleged to include information on Facebook’s data and privacy controls.

Collins told the paper: “We are in uncharted territory. This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation. We’ve failed to get answers from Facebook and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest.”

Six4Three obtained the documents through legal procedures in the US, where it is involved in court action against Facebook.

A Facebook spokesperson said: “Six4Three’s claims are entirely meritless – Facebook has never traded Facebook data for anything and we've always made clear that developer access is subject to both our policies and what info people choose to share.”

The move came days ahead of a DCMS hearing on disinformation, planned for tomorrow. Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice-president for policy solutions, is due to appear at the session.