The UK Parliament has taken an unusually aggressive step to seize internal documents related to Facebook’s privacy policies and data harvesting decisions as a part of probe into the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Those documents supposedly contained information on Facebook’s data and privacy controls before the massive breach came into light. Members of the parliament used their legal powers to confiscate those documents from the founder of a defunct app developer Six4Three which is trying to sue Facebook.
On arriving in London, a Parliamentary Sergeant at Arms was sent to his hotel for seizing the documents. When he refused to handover the documents, he was “escorted to parliament” and informed that he was risking fines for the same.
The company alleged that the social media giant used a “range of methods” to collect user information such as text messages and location data along with misleading privacy and data controls. Although Facebook says that the claim had “no merit,” it used California laws to protect those court documents.
This action was taken after Mark Zuckerberg refused to answer a committee formed in UK for investigating data harvesting incident.
Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, said that, “We have followed this court case in America and we believed these documents contained answers to some of the questions we have been seeking about the use of data, especially by external developers.”
The social media company has now asked the DCMS committee to refrain from reviewing those documents and to return them to counsel or to Facebook.